Woman Sues Housing Authority Over Too Tall Toilet
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 5, 2006
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA--The Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (METRO) is suing the Fort Wayne Housing Authority (FWHA) over problems with a woman's new toilet.
According to the Fort Wayne Frost Illustrated, the METRO filed the discrimination suit on December 21 on behalf of Patricia Ferro, 55, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Ferro alleges that the Housing Authority, which owns and operates her apartment complex, recently replaced her old toilet with one that is two inches higher and more difficult for her to use. When she asked for the old one to be reinstalled, FWHA offered some alternatives, none of which were satisfactory. And when FWHA tried to locate the old toilet, it had already been destroyed.
The suit accuses FWHA of being too slow in its response to her "reasonable request" for accommodation, thereby violating the city's general ordinance on anti-discrimination, along with federal fair housing laws under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Ferro is seeking up to $23,000 in damages for "stress, mental anguish, physical pain and discomfort."
METRO Executive Director Gerald Foday said, "All this woman was asking for was 'nothing' and I'm having a hard time communicating this to the housing authority. She's entitled to reasonable accommodations, and promptly, without undue burden."
Maynard Scales, who heads up FWHA, said he felt his agency made "an extraordinary effort" to provide Ferro a reasonable accommodation.
"To yield to this double jeopardy would allow her to take an unfair share of the diminishing public housing resources for per personal use such as funeral policy, etc."
"METRO files lawsuit over toilet on behalf of impaired woman" (Frost Illustrated)