ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- One of Rochester's largest landlord companies finds itself on the wrong side of the law after denying an apartment to a disabled woman with an assistance animal.
That company is now forking out more than $80,000 in damages.
The case was settled Tuesday in St. Paul and is the first in Minnesota where a discrimination complaint was settled involving an untrained assistance animal.
The settlement involves Bouquet Builders, Inc. for their role in denying an apartment at Avalon Cove.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office a prospective tenant, her husband, and child met with a representative of Bouquet Builders about renting an apartment at Avalon Cove in 2005.
The representative refused to offer an apartment because they had a No Pet Policy and the family had the assistance animal, even though the animal was prescribed by a psychologist as therapy for a medical condition.
In a press release, acting U.S. Attorney Frank Magill says The Fair Housing Act protects all citizens from discriminatory actions. This office will vigorously pursue legal claims against those rental property owners who discriminate against people with disabilities.
We reached Bouquet Builders by phone this and they refusued to comment.
The company has agreed to pay the family $82,000 along with changing its polices and retraining employees.