A condominium unit owner in Chicago sued her condominium association, alleging a violation of the U.S. federal Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act by allowing dogs to travel in the elevators.
The owner claimed that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a fear of large dogs as a result of being attacked and bitten by a German Shepherd when she was a child. The association’s pet policy stated that as some residents are afraid of dogs, pet owners should “acquiesce to their concerns and requests” when sharing confined spaces such as elevators. However, after experiencing several unpleasant encounters with dogs in the elevator, including a physical altercation with a dog walker, the owner requested that she be provided with a key to one of the elevators so that she could travel non-stop in the elevator without any dogs coming on board. This request was not granted. The owner alleged that the association discriminated against her by refusing to accommodate her disability, and that it also turned the other residents against her.
This lawsuit was the fourth of several unsuccessful lawsuits commenced by the owner against the association. The condominium association brought an application for summary judgment of the lawsuit, claiming that it was based on the same facts as the previous three lawsuits. The judge refused to grant the summary judgment after ruling that the current lawsuit did not arise from the same transactions as the previously adjudicated lawsuits and that the owner had presented strong enough evidence to warrant the case moving forward to be dealt with in a full trial.
In the meantime, it was reported in the media that the owner had purchased an $8.63(US) million-dollar penthouse in another condominium that will provide her with direct access to her unit by private elevator.