TDR Obtains Consent Decree and Settlement in Anti-Discrimination Lawsuit
Opioid Addiction Rehabilitation Facility Development Approved
June 12, 2019
On August 4, 2017, TDR filed a five-count complaint in the Northern District of Illinois to redress the unlawful acts of Kane County that resulted in the deprivation of a special use permit to develop and operate an alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center on a 120-acre site located in Kane County, Illinois. Maxxam Partners, LLC and Glenwood Academy v. County of Kane, et al., 17-cv-5707 The Complaint asserted claims under several federal anti-discrimination statutes, including the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and state zoning law. Plaintiffs claimed that notwithstanding the need for such facilities to address the nationwide public health epidemic relating in part to the abuse of opioid painkillers, as detailed in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 and the 2017 United States President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the County denied the permit application based on illegal and discriminatory stereotypes about those seeking to recover from addiction (commonly referred to as “not in my back yard” or “NIMBY”).
On August 14, 2018, after months of negotiations and several local government hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the full Kane County Board, Kane County voted to grant special use approval for the rehabilitation facility pursuant to a newly passed Kane County Zoning Ordinance and the terms of a Consent Decree. On November 30, 2018, the Northern District of Illinois – Judge Jorge Alonso – entered and approved the Consent Decree. Among other things, the Consent Decree enforced the granting of the special use for the property and secured for our client the right to develop and operate the rehabilitation facility. In addition, Kane County agreed to pay our client $4.6 million as part of the overall settlement of the lawsuit.
In securing the Consent Decree and the settlement, TDR also defeated a third-party’s eleventh hour effort to intervene in the action in opposition to the Consent Decree, successfully persuading the Court that the putative intervenor’s motion was untimely and improper. TDR also obtained the dismissal of a state court challenge filed by adjoining neighbors to the property, who alleged that the passage of the Ordinance violated their procedural and substantive due process rights.
Caesar Tabet, Christopher Liguori, Brian Haussmann and Jordan Wilkow secured this important result.