A Manhattan Lower East side Co-Op, East River Housing, was awarded over $30,000 in legal fees after a shareholder unsuccessfully sued after their dog was ordered removed. This is second dog related lawsuit the board has won, although they are facing a third that is still working its way through the courts.
After Steven Gilbert was ordered to remove his dog, which was in violation of a no pets policy, he claimed the dog was for a disability. When the Co-Op moved to evict he got rid of the pet but continued his disability accommodation claim with the New York Division of Human Rights. The court found that this pending claim did not stop the Co-Op from recouping the legal fees amassed during their eviction proceedings.
The case demonstrates the value of securing legal counsel anytime a lawsuit or potential discrimination claim is faced, without it the board could have found itself with a much different outcome.
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