Lynda and Larry Smith filed the suit June 16 in Kane County Circuit Court. The suit also asks a foreclosure case the city brought against them in September be dropped. The foreclosure case was based on liens imposed for housing code violations that are almost 10 years old.
Lynda Smith, 63, who suffers from Parkinson's disease and asthma, says in the lawsuit that she has begun taking 21 new medications since the foreclosure was filed. Those medications include antidepressants, pills for high blood pressure, and drugs to control her Parkinson's disease. She has gone to the emergency room at least five times since she found out about the foreclosure, the suit says.
Larry Smith, 66, from whom she has been separated for years, uses a wheelchair and is in a rehabilitation center.
Lynda Smith is known in Aurora for her affinity toward animals. In August and September 2003, Aurora Animal Control removed 26 cats and a dog from Smith's residence and her brother's residence about a block away, according to animal control manager Linda Nass.
Smith concedes that her house "sank into disrepair," according to the lawsuit, because of her and her husband's disabilities.
But her attorney, Judd Lofchie, said Lynda Smith was granted a "reasonable accommodation" for additional time to fix code violations because of her disabilities.
Lofchie said that with help from advocates Lynda Smith has made 40 of 46 repairs required by the city inspections department. The suit was filed after the city imposed a daily fine of $500 per remaining housing code violation.
Lynda Smith is scheduled to appear Thursday in Aurora Housing Court.
(Chicago Tribune - June 30, 2005)
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