In a substantial victory for municipal Defendants, a federal judge in Indiana struck the class allegations raised by a plaintiff alleging housing discrimination. Mary Beth Wright, a disabled individual, sued the Mishawaka Housing Authority and its former director, arguing that the Housing Authority discriminated against her when it terminated her lease and removed her property. Wright alleged that her eviction was part of a pattern or practice of denying reasonable accommodations to disabled tenants that was appropriate for class treatment. The Court disagreed, finding that Plaintiff's claim relied on specific factual allegations that could not establish claims on behalf of a putative class. The Court further found that Wright was not entitled to re-plead her class allegations because she was necessarily atypical of any purported class: any similar failure-to-accommodate claims would also rely on the specific facts surrounding their accommodation requests, requiring exactly the kind of case-by-case inquiry that prevents class certification.
Congratulations to Eric Samore and the class action team on this victory.