A group of tenants at a Concord apartment complex filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against their landlord alleging discrimination against families with children.
Eight sets of parents living at Huntington Arms Apartments at 1740 Detroit Ave. allege that they have faced repeated discriminated from the building’s management for having children.
The complaint alleges that starting in 2011, the apartment complex’s manager, who has since left her post, regularly yelled at children for playing in the complex’s common areas during the day and informed tenants that the landlord planned to evict large families.
Calls to the apartment complex manager’s office were not immediately returned.
A year ago, the plaintiffs teamed with Tenants Together to file a complaint against the landlord with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing over the alleged discrimination.
Last month, the department filed its own complaint against the complex’s landlords, Peter Carlson and Joan Bull, the manager, Theresa Lewis Ratcliff, and management company CB Family Investments Co. following an investigation into the tenants’ allegations.
The tenants’ lawsuit, filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Wednesday, seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief. While three of the families involved in the lawsuit are still living at Huntington Arms, one of the families moved out as a result of the alleged discrimination, according to attorney Leah Simon-Weisberg, legal director of Tenants Together.
The attorney credited the families for their persistence and courage in standing up for their rights.
“There’s a lot of discrimination against families with children, and it’s a kind of discrimination that people often suffer silently,” she said. “It’s very concerning when landlords think it’s okay to try and push them out.”
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