Jury Finds Cromwell Liable for Discriminatory Behavior Over Closure of Group Home

NBC Connecticut

The town of Cromwell was ordered to pay millions of dollars for discrimination against a home for adults with disabilities.

A federal jury awarded Gilead Community Services $5 million in punitive damages and another $181,000 in compensatory damages, according to a press release from the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, which filed a civil rights lawsuit along with Gilead in 2017. That lawsuit claimed town officials violated the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The jury found that Cromwell was liable for discriminatory behavior that led the group home to close in 2015. During that time, the town held public meetings where residents expressed concerns about the location of the home on Reiman Drive, which was in a school zone. The home was intended to house up to six men with mental illness.

The town issues a cease and desist order and did not give Gilead the tax-exempt status it had in the past, forcing the home to go out of business.

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