For Immediate Release - July 28, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley Sues Boston Property Management Company and its Manager for Discrimination Against Foster Parent

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has filed a lawsuit against Cornerstone Corporation, a for-profit property management company that manages the Roxse Homes residential housing development in Boston, alleging that the company and one of its employees discriminated against a tenant because she is a foster parent. Under state and federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based on his or her familial status which can include foster parent relationships.

"It is a violation of state and federal law to discriminate against foster parents because of the familial status or composition of their family," said Attorney General Coakley. "Foster parents serve a critical need in supporting the care, welfare and safety of children across the Commonwealth."

According to the complaint, the tenant had been a licensed foster parent for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for many years and had lived in Roxse Homes with her family, including foster children, since 2006. The complaint alleges that despite knowing that the tenant was a licensed foster parent, the defendants falsely accused the tenant of operating a day-care center in her apartment in violation of the lease and later twice threatened to evict her and her family unless she ceased such activity.

The complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties. This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Alan Jay Rom of Attorney General Coakley's Civil Rights Division.