$7M DISCRIMINATION CASE LEADS TO STRONG WORDS FROM FEDERAL MAGISTRATE JUDGE AGAINST SEVEN BRIDGES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, ATTORNEYS.
BY: SEVEN BRIDGES BUREAU | BocaNewsNow.com
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A federal magistrate judge blasted attorneys for the Seven Bridges Delray Beach Homeowners Association who are attempting to defend the community against a $7M discrimination case filed by a homeowner.
United States Magistrate Judge William Matthewman, who has repeatedly refused to dismiss the case, set a trial date for March 13th. He ordered attorneys for the Seven Bridges Homeowners Association — and plaintiff Deborah LaGrasso — to agree to exhibits to be used during trial. According to an order obtained by BocaNewsNow.com, attorneys for LaGrasso were willing to work with the HOA for mutually acceptable exhibits. But the HOA objected to nearly everything, including audio of a phone call in which one homeowner — who is Jewish — appears to tell LaGrasso — who is not Jewish — to move somewhere else.
LaGrasso is suing the Seven Bridges HOA, claiming discrimination. As we’ve reported, LaGrasso’s children were allegedly the victims of verbal abuse by a group of “tennis ladies” who did not want children on the community’s tennis courts during the women’s special playtime. When LaGrasso came to investigate, she allegedly ended up in a physical altercation with the women. While part of the event was captured on video, the video does not show a physical altercation. The tennis ladies complained to the Board of Directors which sanctioned LaGrasso.
Several months later, after LaGrasso is believed to have posted her opinions about the HOA on an anonymous Facebook page, LaGrasso and Seven Bridges homeowner Rachel Tannenholz allegedly made derogatory comments about the other on social media. The HOA once again sanctioned LaGrasso, including for writing antisemitic and derogatory comments online. When LaGrasso complained to the HOA about Tannenholz, the Board of Directors did not sanction her. Tannenholz is Jewish, LaGrasso is not. Among the complaints allegedly ignored by the Board: LaGrasso’s claim that Tannenholz told her to move to a community that isn’t primarily Jewish. The phone call was recorded. The sanctions imposed against Lagrasso: $5,000 and a year-long ban from using amenities in the Seven Bridges community. The sanction imposed against Tannenholz: none. Tannenholz is NOT a defendant in the federal lawsuit.
Federal Magistrate Judge William Matthewman just blasted attorneys for the Seven Bridges HOA for apparently being unwilling to work with LaGrasso’s attorneys.
“The Court is concerned that Defendant objects to nearly every exhibit from Plaintiffs, while Plaintiffs object to none of Defendant’s exhibits. While Defendant is certainly entitled to make good faith and proper objections to any of Plaintiffs’ proposed exhibits, the Court does not understand how Defendant can in good faith assert such voluminous objections to the majority of Plaintiffs’ exhibits. The Court requires further conferral among the parties on the Plaintiffs’ exhibits and the Court requires that Defendant carefully reconsider its voluminous objections. The Court intends to start the jury trial in this case on March 13, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. and the Court expects that the parties’ counsel will take all necessary steps to stipulate and agree to exhibits in advance of trial so as not to waste the jury’s time.”
The items LaGrasso’s attorneys want to be admitted into evidence are listed below. Attorneys for the Seven Bridges HOA have largely objected to everything, including public records showing that a member of the Seven Bridges Board of Directors at the time of the incident quitclaimed — or transferred ownership — of his house to his spouse around the time a federal judge refused to dismiss the case. Also on the objection list: articles that appeared on BocaNewsNow.com, in the Palm Beach Post, emails between board members, surveillance video, and more. While the original board is no longer in office, the spouse of a board member in office at the time of the incident was just elected to a seat on the Board of Directors.
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