US Department of Justice Says Huntsville Seniors’ Residence in Offense for Lacking Accessible Walkways

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HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) -Luxury apartments with pool, nail salon and movie theater: that’s what you’ll find at Fleming Farm Senior Living in Huntsville.

The US Department of Justice said the company did not design appropriate accessibility features for people with disabilities at eight of its facilities.(WAFF)

But according to the US Department of Justice, what you won’t find is full access for people with disabilities.

Dominion Management LLC, owner of Fleming Farms, operated by Bridge Senior Living, settled a dispute by agreeing to pay the costs to make the facilities accessible and pay $ 450,000.

“It’s kind of a sad commentary on life, is when the only way to do it is when someone is being sued,” said William Van Der Pol, an attorney with the advocacy program. disabled people in Alabama.

Fleming Farms Senior Living in Huntsville is one of eight locations in the Southeast affected by a federal lawsuit.

Complete installations found with violations are listed below:

  • Fleming Farms, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Somerby St. Vincent’s One Nineteen, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Somerby Peachtree City (Georgia)
  • Somerby Sandy Springs (Georgia)
  • Westside, Alpharetta (Georgia)
  • Somerby Beach Santa Rosa (Florida)
  • Somerby Mount Pleasant (South Carolina)
  • Somerby Franklin (Tennessee

The apartment community has luxury amenities and an elegant lifestyle for the elderly, however, the US Department of Justice says it has missed the mark on security, alleging that facilities do not ‘have not constructed appropriate passageways for people with disabilities and residents with disabilities do not have access to certain amenities.

“The swimming pool is useless for a disabled person if they cannot get to it. It’s not rocket science, ”said Van Der Pol.

Van Der Pol says these are simple but essential building parts that the developers have missed.

“Any good competent architect, any good competent person who does construction should be able to conform to the types of things we’re talking about here. Things like edging cuts, bathrooms, and kitchens, these are really simple things. “

Without curb for example …

“You have a normal sidewalk that is 4 to 6 inches high, and obviously a person in a wheelchair cannot climb that. “

What they need to add, “areas where it’s cut and it’s sloping to allow a person with a disability, whether it’s a wheelchair or a walker or whatever, to get up on the sidewalk,” he explained.

Dominion Management LLC will pay all costs to make the apartments accessible, in addition to $ 400,000 to residents affected by the inaccessibility, and pay a fine of $ 50,000 to the government.

“I hope that developers, especially developers with a customer base of seniors, will want to partner with these people and ensure that the very people they serve are getting what they are entitled to under. the law, ”said Van Der Pol. .

WAFF 48 has reached out to the executive director of Fleming Farms to ask for comment on this now settled lawsuit and plans to move forward with making housing for its elderly residents on Friday afternoon.

We are awaiting a return.

From the US Department of Justice:

The individuals who have the right to share the settlement fund will be identified through a process set out in the consent order.

People who believe that they or their family members have been the victim of unlawful discrimination at one of these complexes should contact the Department of Justice toll free at 1-833-591-0291, select the option 1 for English; select option 4 for housing accessibility for people with disabilities; and select option 2 for Dominion Management LLC to leave a voicemail message or email the Department of Justice at [email protected]

Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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