A racially-themed fair housing lawsuit involving Prudential Rubloff Properties and one of its top agents, Jeffrey Lowe, has been settled, according to a new report from The Chicago Tribune’s Mary Ellen Podmolik.
Originally filed in September 2010 by the Justice Department, the civil lawsuit alleged that Lowe, Prudential Rubloff and a client violated federal fair housing laws when canceling a multimillion-dollar sale of a Bridgeport home from a white couple to a black family.
The 8,000-square-foot home, which is owned by Daniel and Adrienne Sabbia (who are represented by Lowe) and still listed on the MLS for $1.8 million, was going to be sold to radio personality George Willborn and his family. The Sabbias, who are white, backed out of their oral agreement with the Willborns, who are black, leading to not only the Justice Department’s lawsuit but an independent lawsuit from the Willborns as well.
Per the settlement, both Lowe and Prudential Rubloff agreed to pay $30,000 to Dylcia Cornelious, the Willborns’ agent; Lowe will also be required to take an educational program related to the Fair Housing Act, and, as Podmolik reports, “Prudential Rubloff will provide a copy of the consent order to all its current real estate agents and to any new agents who join the company within the next three years.” Neither party admitted any wrongdoing in the settlement.
“Jeff Lowe is very happy that these lawsuits are behind him,” said Edward Feldman, Lowe’s attorney, in the Tribune piece. “He did not in any respect engage in, assist or condone discrimination in any form.”
The case against the Sabbias continues; following the settlement, the Willborns asked that Lowe and Prudential Rubloff be removed from their own lawsuit, leaving the Sabbias as the only defendants in the case.