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Justice Department settles suit requiring senior citizen facilities accessibility

President Joe Biden with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, during a celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House Wednesday. The Justice Department Thursday announced it had settled a lawsuit requiring J. Randolph Parry Architects to retrofit eight senior living facilities in Pennsylvania to comply with ADA accessibility laws. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5f93d8eef4533bf65caedb68fe4e8db2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
President Joe Biden with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, during a celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House Wednesday. The Justice Department Thursday announced it had settled a lawsuit requiring J. Randolph Parry Architects to retrofit eight senior living facilities in Pennsylvania to comply with ADA accessibility laws. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The Justice Department said Thursday that J. Randolph Parry Architects P.C. has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit alleging its senior living facilities were not accessible to people with disabilities.

The suit said that the company failed to design and build those facilities as required by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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According to a Justice Department statement, Parry will pay $350,000 to retrofit eight Pennsylvania properties, $75,000 to a settlement fund to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing and $25,000 as a civil penalty to the government.

"The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing the federal laws guaranteeing people with disabilities equal access to housing," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in a statement. "This settlement should serve as a reminder to architects and developers across the country that they cannot ignore federally-mandated accessibility requirements, including those that apply to housing for seniors."

The consent order settling the lawsuit was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It requires Parry to retrofit eight Pennsylvania senior living facilities in Bethlehem, Boyertown, Douglasville, Harleysville, Hershey, Newtown, Philadelphia and Quakertown.

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The Justice Department said in its statement that the retrofits will include making the kitchens and bathrooms accessible and more useable.

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