Award of Damages to Tenant Reduced
LVT Number: 9943
The State Division of Human Rights ruled that landlord had discriminated in renting apartments based on race. The agency awarded tenants $30,000 in compensatory damages for mental anguish and $10,000 in punitive damages. Landlord appealed, and the court ruled for landlord in part. Compensatory damages were reduced to $5,000. The couple experienced a form of racial steering but weren't subject to prolonged discrimination. They had one contact with landlord and, in fact, found an apartment the same day. They weren't subjected to rude or egregious racial epithets and didn't show that their mental anguish extended for any length of time or to any great degree. The punitive damages award was left intact.
Van Cleef Realty v. NYS Division of Human Rights: 627 NYS2d 744 (1995) (App. Div. 2 Dept.; Balletta, JP, O'Brien, Altman, Krausman, JJ)