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Sienna sued over handicap access

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she’s suing developer Thomas Roszak for failing to comply with accessibility laws in the design and construction of the Sienna condo complex in Evanston.


Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she’s suing developer Thomas Roszak for failing to comply with accessibility laws in the design and construction of the Sienna condo complex in Evanston.

“The developer has failed to ensure that the newly-built residences are safe and accessible as required under the law,” Madigan said in a news release. “The accessibility standards have been in place for more than 20 years. There is no excuse for putting residents and visitors with disabilities in danger by failing to ensure that there is an accessible path in and out of these complexes.”

The lawsuit claims Roszak targeted potential buyers with disabilities when marketing the property at 1720-1740 Oak Avenue., claiming it would be easily accessible to people with disabilities.

The developer has not finished the project, leaving an excavated pit where the accessible route for people with disabilities was planned.

As a result, Madigan says, there is no accessible entrance for people with disabilities; and other residents and visitors can only enter the development through a cumbersome, inaccessible path that requires trespassing through an unaffiliated parking garage.

Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ misleading advertising violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The lawsuit further alleges that the defendants’ failure to fully implement measures needed to provide accessibility for residents with disabilities violates the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Environmental Barriers Act.

In addition to Roszak, Madigan’s complaint names several companies Roszak controls that were involved in the development project.

The suit asks the court to order the defendants to address the accessibility violations and pay a $50,000 civil penalty for each violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, a $25,000 civil penalty for violating the Illinois Human Rights Act, and a $250 fine for each day the complex continues to violate the Environmental Barriers Act in addition to costs for the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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