WASHINGTON, DC– For almost two years, Tiegan York, a transgender woman of color and longtime District resident, endured incessant, vulgar harassment and refusals to provide the most basic maintenance services at the hands of the management company, Residential One Management and the owner, 3910 Georgia Avenue Associates LP, of her apartment complex, because of her gender identity and sexual orientation. Ultimately forced to move for her own safety, she is now seeking to vindicate her rights in a lawsuit filed against them today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ms. York’s suit alleges that their constant taunting related to her gender identity and sexual orientation as well as their deliberate failure to provide maintenance and repairs, which, among other things, left her without heat and air conditioning, created a hostile housing environment and constitute discrimination under DC’s Human Rights Act and the federal Fair Housing Act. When Ms. York complained, her landlord retaliated by instructing its agents to not take Ms. York’s complaints seriously and by continually belittling and harassing her. Ms. York seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the severe physical and emotional distress and financial losses she experienced.
As Ms. York recounts: “The type of fear I live simply because I am transgender is unfathomable. I am harboring a great deal of pain because of the unjust treatment I received. As a black woman, a black transgender woman, I should be and am worthy of the same respect.”
The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Goodwin Procter LLP represent Ms. York in this case.
“It is reprehensible that transgender persons are too often subjected to humiliating and discriminatory treatment because of their gender identity. Like other targets of hate, they are often reluctant to pursue their claims for fear of retaliation, which Ms. York also experienced when she complained to management. She brings this lawsuit both to pursue her own rights and to prevent other transgender persons from experiencing the type of abusive and unequal treatment she endured,” says Committee Executive Director Jonathan Smith.
Goodwin Partner Adam Chud adds: “No one should live in fear for her safety and well-being, or be forced to live without basic necessities such as heat and maintenance services, as a result of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. The abuse Ms. York suffered at her home is shocking and indefensible. We look forward to helping her vindicate her rights.”
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Gregg A. Kelley
Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Adam M. Chud
Goodwin Procter LLP
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE: The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs was established in 1968 to provide pro bono legal services to address issues of discrimination and entrenched poverty. Since then, it has successfully handled thousands of civil rights cases on behalf of individuals and groups in the areas of fair housing, equal employment opportunity, public accommodations, immigrant rights, disability rights, public education, and prisoners’ rights. For more information, please visit www.washlaw.org or call 202.319.1000. Follow us on Twitter at @Washlaw4CR.
ABOUT GOODWIN: At Goodwin, we use law to achieve unprecedented results for our clients. Our 1,000 plus lawyers across the United States, Europe, and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigations and world-class advisory services in the financial, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and technology industries. We partner with our clients to practice law with integrity, ingenuity, agility and ambition. To learn more, visit us at www.goodwinlaw.com and follow us on Twitter at @goodwinlaw and on LinkedIn.