United States v. Fort Norfolk Retirement Community, Inc., d/b/a Harbor's Edge (E.D. Va.)
On May 19, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered a Consent Order resolving litigation brought by the United States Department of Justice involving Fort Norfolk Retirement Community Inc., doing business as "Harbor's Edge."
The litigation would have alleged that the Defendant discriminated against residents of the Harbor's Edge Continuing Care Retirement Community located in Norfolk, Virginia on the basis of disability by implementing policies that prohibited or limited residents living in the Assisted Living, Memory Support, and Nursing units from dining in Residential Tower dining rooms and attending events outside of the Assisted Living, Memory, and Nursing units with Residential Tower residents and prospective residents. The litigation also would have alleged that the Defendant discriminated against people who used motorized mobility aides by having a policy requiring them to pay a non-refundable deposit, obtain liability insurance and demonstrate that they knew how to operate the mobility aid safely. Finally, the litigation would have alleged that when residents and family members complained about the dining and events policies, Defendant retaliated against them.
Harbor's Edge denies that it discriminated or retaliated against anyone, or that it otherwise violated the Fair Housing Act. Harbor's Edge contends that it adopted the challenged procedures only after medical incidents involving Healthcare residents in the unregulated dining room, located in the Residential (or Independent Living) Tower, and only after obtaining the advice of counsel, the facility's Resident Advisory Council, and officials of the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Social Services. Harbor's Edge contends that it liberalized its policy within 24 hours of being advised by a state official that a more inclusive policy would not violate state law, and accordingly that it has acted in good faith throughout.
The Parties have agreed to this Consent Order to avoid costly and protracted litigation and the Consent Order is not an admission of liability or guilt. Under this Consent Order, you or an estate may be entitled to receive monetary relief if you or a family member:
Were unable to eat in the Residential Tower dining rooms and attend events with Residential Tower residents or prospective residents; or Were charged a deposit, were required to obtain liability insurance, or were required to obtain Harbor's Edge's permission before using a motorized mobility aid; or Were retaliated against if you or your family member complained about the dining and events policies.
If you believe that you or a family member has been discriminated against in any way described above, please contact the United States Department of Justice at:
1-800-896-7743, mailbox number 5, or write or send an e-mail to:
United States Department of Justice
Attn: DJ# 175-79-460
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW â G Street
Washington, DC 20530
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You must contact the Department of Justice by November 1, 2015, and your message or letter must include your name, address and at least one telephone number where you may be reached.