Disability Rights

ECBAWM works to protect the rights of people with disabilities and their families in a wide variety of different areas. From housing discrimination to educational discrimination to mistreatment of people living in assisted living facilities, people with disabilities face countless violations of their rights. ECBAWM’s broad experience makes it uniquely positioned to secure justice for people with disabilities.

The Firm has fought these injustices by suing landlords, employers, and educational institutions who discriminate against people with disabilities, including by refusing to make reasonable accommodations. The Firm also has a long history of protecting people facing mistreatment in institutions, like group homes, securing precedent-setting victories that include recompense for families and force changes to practices and procedures throughout the state.

Read more about ECBAWM’s latest work protecting the rights of those with disabilities here.

Representative Cases:

  • Carey v. Slingerland – ECBAWM obtained a $5 million settlement from the State of New York in relation to wrongful death lawsuits brought by Michael and Lisa Carey, whose son Jonathan died in 2007 while living in a State facility for the disabled.
  • Vilchez v. AVR et al. – ECBAWM negotiated a $1.3 million settlement in a lawsuit against the developer, architect, and engineers of two newly constructed condominium developments in Queens and Dutchess Counties that were inaccessible to residents and guests with physical disabilities, including a woman who uses a wheelchair and bought an apartment at one of the sites that was not accessible.
  • The Firm has secured extra time on tests like the New York bar exam and other educational accommodations for students with learning disabilities.
  • Milano v. Asare – ECBAWM represents a man living with HIV who was unlawfully discriminated against by a cosmetic surgeon who refused to perform surgery on the basis of his HIV status. The United States Department of Justice has also brought suit against the doctor for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • LIHS v. Main Street L.I. et al. – The Firm successfully represented a Long Island non-profit organization alleging that prospective disabled tenants were quoted higher rents and were told apartments were not available and that fees would be charged for service dogs, and that the building refused to modify rental policies to accommodate renters’ disabilities.
  • K. v. Teams – The Firm represents three families in a lawsuit against the State of New York alleging severe and pervasive abuse of disabled residents in a State group home, which staff members refer to as the “Bronx Zoo.”
  • C. v. Taylor – ECBAWM secured $2.25 million for the family of a severely disabled man who was abused by staff members at a New York State-run facility for the disabled.
  • ECBAWM currently represents a disabled man who was denied the opportunity to live in a Westchester County cooperative building with a policy prohibiting apartment purchases by supplemental needs trusts, which are primarily used by disabled persons.
  • Weisenberg v. Edwards – After New York State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and his wife Ellen discovered that staff at a group home were abusing their disabled son Ricky, they turned to ECBAWM, who secured a $120,000 settlement from the facility.
  • D. v. City of New York – The Firm successfully represented a class of disabled preschool children in a case that resulted in the elimination of a lengthy waiting list for services required by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act.
  • FHJC v. Esplanade Venture Partnership et al. – ECBAWM resolved a case against five retirement communities alleging disability discrimination, including, among other things, refusing to rent to applicants using wheelchairs and, at one site, requiring current residents who use wheelchairs to use a segregated dining room. The settlement included $297,500 and extensive policy changes.
  • The Firm obtained a preliminary injunction that stopped a New York landlord from refusing to renew leases with a non-profit organization that provides housing and supportive services to several developmentally disabled men in two of the landlord’s rent stabilized Manhattan apartments.
  • Guadalupe v. City of New York – ECBAWM, along with the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project, represents a mentally disabled man who was severely beaten by Rikers Island guards in 2014. Mr. Guadalupe was beaten while he was in handcuffs.