Nevada District Court decision (March 21, 2014).
Plaintiffs, a husband and wife who were denied access to their community clubhouse because they had their pet dog that they contended was a service animal assisting the disabled wife, sued their homeowners association and its attorneys in a complaint that alleged 102 causes of action for “discrimination against the disabled, breach of contract and other torts.” The claims that were based on torts included claims under Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). The defendants sought to dismiss the husband’s claims on the basis that he did not did have standing to bring claims under the ADA and the FHA.
Standing to bring claims for ADA violations:
The Court held that to establish standing to bring a case under the ADA, a plaintiff must show: (1) they suffered an “injury in fact”; (2) the injury was caused by the defendant’s conduct; and (3) the injury can be redressed by a favorable decision.
In ruling that the husband had standing to bring an ADA claim, the Court found that because the husband was barred access to the HOA’s clubhouse when he accompanied his wife and their pet dog, he personally suffered an injury that was distinct from the injuries suffered by his wife. The husband also alleged that he was denied access to the clubhouse due to the defendants’ conduct and that the injury could be redressed by a favorable decision. Accordingly, the husband stated a claim for his personal recovery of damages under the ADA.
The Court also stated that the husband had further grounds to proceed with a claim under the ADA because the HOA’s denial of his access to the clubhouse was due to his association with his wife who was a disabled person.
Standing to bring claims for FHA violations-
The Court stated that: (1) claims under the FHA are to be judged under a very liberal standing requirement and the plaintiff need not allege that he or she was a victim of discrimination; and (2) that the only requirement for standing to bring a claim for FHA violations is “an injury in fact” (a showing that as a result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff has suffered a distinct and palpable injury). The Court also stated that under the FHA, any person that is harmed by discrimination, regardless of whether that person was the actual target of the discrimination, has standing to sue for his or her own injury.
See case decision:Sanzaro_v._Ardiente_Homeowners_Ass’n_LLC_(D._Nev._2014)1