Eviction and Lawsuit Against Sandy Family Over Pet Rules Dropped

All legal fees will be credited back to family

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Monday, Feb 4, 2013  |  Updated 10:00 AM EDT
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Service Dog Could Cause Sandy Victims to Lose Home

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A lawsuit and pending eviction against a family because of their autistic son's service dog was dropped after NBC 4 New York reported on the case Friday.

A lawyer sent a letter to the Loiacano family Saturday saying that the family can stay in the Flushing, Queens apartment where they relocated after Sandy damaged their home on Long Island.

In addition, all legal fees will be credited back to family, the letter said.
    
The building's owner was suing and evicting the family for breaking building rules by having their severely autistic 15-year-old son's service dog, Oobi, with them when they moved in.

But Oobi was suffering from a growing chest tumor, and within a few days of moving to Queens, he had to be put to sleep. Ten days after the family put Oobi to rest, the Loiacanos received a notice from the building's attorney, telling them they were breaking the co-op's rules about keeping dogs as pets and ordered them to remove the dog by Nov. 27 or risk eviction.

Because Oobi had already died, the family assumed there was nothing left for them to do. But on Christmas Eve, they learned they were being evicted because they "failed to comply" with the previous order asking them to remove their dog, who had already been cremated and laid to rest. The building's owner was also suing the Loiacanos for $2,000, including legal fees.

An attorney for the building's owner, the Second Housing Company, originally said that if the family had notified them beforehand and received pre-approval to have a service animal, there would have been no problem. But the Loiacanos argued that in Sandy's wake they had much more pressing matters on their minds.

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