Jury awards Maui couple $1.7M in suit against their condo association
KIHEI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A jury has awarded a Maui couple more than $1.7 million in a disability discrimination lawsuit against a Kihei condominium association.
Greg White alleged that the condo board of the Villas at Kenolio improperly tried to foreclose on their home and illegally fined him and his wife $200 a day for more than two years — or a total of about $170,000.
"We were vindicated 100 percent. It's a sense of relief that you almost have to pinch yourself that it's really over," White said.
The condo board had fined White, who is blind in his left eye and visually impaired in his right, because he installed wood floors in his townhouse several years ago.
The board said the floor violated condo rules.
White said he needed the floors to better navigate around his apartment. He said the dark wood floor provides a strong contrast with his white walls so he can better see where he's going.
Eric Ferrer, the Whites' lawyer, said the board violated its own bylaws, which require a hearing before any fines are issued.
Instead, "they just kept fining them $200 a day for 850 days," said Ferrer.
"It was totally egregious. It was retaliation."
Ferrer also cited an email by former condo board member Jason Strahn, who cast doubt on White's disability even though Strahn did not examine the medical records White submitted to the board to document his disability.
"His medical needs must not be that terrible as he walks the dogs out of the complex and around the neighborhood," Strahn wrote.
The association declined comment and its lawyer did not return a call.
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