$40,000 FAIR HOUSING WIN: PIT BULL SUPPORT ANIMAL REUNITED WITH OWNER

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Reunited: Denise Cox and her emotional support animal, Kylee

Denise Cox and her mother, Marcia Gooding, have accepted $40,000 to settle their fair housing case against Hastings Mutual Insurance Company and East Bay Manufactured Home Community in Fenton.

Ms. Gooding contacted the Fair Housing Center on July 13, 2016, to report that she had been given an ultimatum by East Bay – get rid of Ms. Cox’s emotional support animal or be evicted.

HUD guidelines require owners and insurers to evaluate each emotional support animal on a case-by-case basis. FHC staff took the case and advocated on behalf of Ms. Cox. When East Bay denied multiple requests to remove the blanket ban on pit bulls as a reasonable accommodation of Ms. Cox’s disability, the case was referred to FHC Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak.

Mr. Tomkowiak filed the case in Federal Court and it was settled in November, 2016. The settlement included included changes in policies by both East Bay Manufactured Home Community and Hastings Mutual Insurance Company. Hastings Mutual Company has over 900 agencies servicing Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

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