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Wed Jun 5, 2019, 06:36 AM

Colorado lawsuit over companion animals settles for $1M

DENVER (AP) A Colorado housing authority accused of violating the federal rights of tenants with disabilities by charging a fee for companion animals has settled a lawsuit for nearly $1 million.

The agreement followed a three-year fight over the Meeker Housing Authority's efforts to tighten restrictions on keeping pets at the northwestern Colorado property, a federally subsidized apartment building for families. Attorneys said the agency refused to make exceptions for two tenants whose cats and dog were recommended by doctors to cope with depression and anxiety.

"Housing is one of our basic needs, and when that's taken away from people who do not have a safety net, there's nowhere for them to go," said Siddhartha Rathod, the tenants' attorney.

Attorneys for the Meeker Housing Authority did not return messages seeking comment.

Colorado District Court Judge William J. Martinez ruled in February that the creation of a $300 fee and the denial of requests for an exception by the tenants with disabilities violated federal law preventing discrimination against people with disabilities. Other claims were set to be decided by a jury in early May until the parties began settlement talks.

Read more: https://www.wyomingnews.com/news/from_the_wire/colorado-lawsuit-over-companion-animals-settles-for-m/article_7ba19dee-f603-5dc4-ad98-66a87bda06ac.html

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