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Stalker v. Stewart Tenants Corp – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Stalker v. Stewart Tenants Corp. (93 AD3d 550, 940 NYS2d 600 [1st Dept 2012]), which alleges a refusal by a cooperative board to approve a contract to sell a unit because of discrimination on the basis of age and national origin, the First Department reversed an order dismissing plaintiffs' claim for punitive damages.

The Court noted that "the complaint states a cause of action for housing discrimination under New York State's Human Rights Law (Executive Law § 296 5)" (id. at 551), which makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice to "discriminate against any person" on the basis of "race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age, disability, marital status, or familial status in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any such housing accommodation or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith." (Executive Law § 296 5 a 2.)

The Court goes on to note, "We find that this more expansive language provides a remedy for any person 'adversely affected by reason of discrimination' in the provision of housing in New York." (93 AD3d at 551.)