The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kennedy, District Judge.
Plaintiffs allege that defendants violated the Fair Housing Act
of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 3601-3631 (West 1994 & Supp.
1998) ("FHA"), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12181-12189 (West 1995 & Supp. 1998) ("ADA"), by
refusing to provide standard landlords' insurance or by providing
insurance at less favorable rates and terms to landlords who rent
to disabled tenants. Defendants Allstate Insurance Company
("Allstate") and State Farm Fire and Casualty Company ("State
Farm") each have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint claiming
that (1) plaintiffs lack standing, (2) the practices about which
plaintiffs complain may not be scrutinized under the FHA because
of the operation of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, and (3) plaintiffs
have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Upon consideration of the motions and the responses thereto, the
court concludes that the motions should be denied.
A. The Individual Plaintiffs
After signing the lease, Wai contacted her Allstate agent,
James Dooley, and requested that Allstate change her homeowners'
policy to a landlord policy. Dooley provided Wai with an initial
quote of $426 per year for casualty and liability insurance.
Dooley then inquired about the tenants and learned that they were
three handicapped women and a live-in counselor. Dooley
immediately withdrew the insurance offer. A few days later,
Dooley confirmed that Allstate refused to provide standard
landlord insurance because there were handicapped tenants in the
household. Dooley informed Wai that she would need to obtain
commercial insurance and recommended a different agency. Allstate
canceled Wai's existing policy.
Wai contacted State Farm. State Farm's agent, James Reid,
informed Wai "that it was State Farm's policy that where a house
is occupied by handicapped individuals and a counselor or other
assistance is provided to them, the house is considered a
`commercial operation' outside the scope of State Farm's
insurable risk." Complaint ¶ 19. State Farm refused to provide
Wai with any insurance, instead referring her to another
insurance agency through which she purchased a commercial
landlord policy that only provided fire insurance and cost $686
Arthur Verbit has been renting his house to handicapped tenants
as an Oxford House since 1991. In April 1995, Verbit purchased a
homeowners' liability insurance policy from Republic Insurance
Company ("Republic") for $315 per year. After Republic sent an
inspector to the house. Verbit's insurance agent called to
inquire about the tenants. When Verbit explained that the house
was an Oxford House, the agent stated that the house was
considered a boarding house for which Verbit would have to obtain
commercial insurance. Republic subsequently canceled Verbit's
policy, stating that "the house is `a group home' and therefore
posed an unacceptable `hazard' to the company." Compl. ¶ 33.
Verbit eventually obtained fire and casualty insurance at an
annual premium of $810.
B. The Organizational Plaintiffs
1. The Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington ("FHC")
The FHC is a not-for-profit corporation that exists "to promote
the equal availability of housing to all persons without regard
to race . . . or handicap." Compl. ¶ 9. The FHC alleges that it
has had to divert scarce resources from its "usual testing,
education, counseling and referral services" to its investigation
of defendants' actions and its efforts to counteract them. Compl.
¶ 37, 39. Defendants' practices have frustrated the FHC's
mission of identifying and eliminating discriminatory housing
practices by thus "impeding [the FHC's] efforts to educate the
public about discriminatory housing practices and to provide
counseling and referral services to the public about housing
discrimination." Compl. ¶ 39.
Oxford House, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation that
assists recovering alcoholics and drug addicts in locating rental
properties and establishing group homes. Oxford House organized
the rental of plaintiff Verbit's house. Defendants'
discriminatory practices have allegedly "(1) interfered with all
the efforts and programs of Oxford House and its affiliates; (2)
forced Oxford House and its affiliates to devote scarce resources
to identity and counteract Defendants' unlawful practices; and
(3) interfered with the fair housing rights of Oxford House and
its affiliates." Compl. ¶ 42.
In evaluating a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a
court must accept the allegations in the complaint as true. See,
e.g., Croixland Properties Ltd. Partnership v. Corcoran,
174 F.3d 213, 215 (D.C.Cir. 1999). All reasonable inferences must be drawn
in favor of the plaintiff, and a court should only dismiss a
complaint for failure to state a claim "`if it is clear that no
relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be
proved consistent with the allegations.'" Id. (quoting Hishon v.
King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 104 S.Ct. 2229, 81 L.Ed.2d 59
(1984)); see also Price v. Crestar Secs. Corp., 44 F. Supp.2d 351,
352-5 (D.D.C. 1999). A court "does not test whether the plaintiff
will prevail on the merits, but instead whether the claimant has
properly stated a claim." Price, 44 F. Supp.2d at 353.
"Congress intended standing under the Fair Housing Act to
extend to the full limits of Article III." Spann v. Colonial
Village, Inc., 899 F.2d 24, 27 (D.C.Cir. 1990) (internal
quotation marks omitted); see also Havens Realty Corp. v.
Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 372, 102 S.Ct. 1114, 71 L.Ed.2d 214
(1982). To establish standing under Article III, a plaintiff must
establish the following: 1) that the plaintiff suffered an
"injury in fact"; 2) that the injury is "fairly traceable to the
challenged action of the defendant"; and 3) that the injury will
be "redressed by a favorable decision." Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351
(1992); see also Animal Legal Defense Fund, Inc. v. Glickman,
154 F.3d 426 (D.C.Cir. 1998) (en banc), cert. denied sub nom.
National Ass'n for Biomedical Research v. Animal Legal Defense
Fund, ___ U.S. ___, 119 S.Ct. 1454, 143 L.Ed.2d 541 (1999).
The same three-part analysis is used whether plaintiff is an
individual or an organization. See Spann v. Colonial Village,
Inc., 899 F.2d 24, 27 (D.C.Cir. 1990) ("An organization has
standing on its own behalf if it meets the same standing test
that applies to individuals."). An organization can show injury
in fact by "point[ing] to a `concrete and demonstrable injury to
[its] activities, not simply a setback to the organization's
abstract social interests.'" Id. (quoting Havens, 455 U.S. at
379, 102 S.Ct. 1114).
Defendants contend that the FHC lacks standing because it has
not alleged a concrete and demonstrable injury, and that "it
cannot do so because, as the Complaint so clearly implies, not a
single disabled individual was denied housing or injured in any
other way in this case."*fn1 Allstate Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss at
9. This argument is irrelevant to the question whether the FHC
has standing to sue for injuries that it has suffered as an
organization. An organization's standing to sue in its own right
is determined by the injuries that it has suffered, not by the
injuries suffered by those the organization seeks to protect. See
Havens, 455 U.S. at 378-79, 102 S.Ct. 1114.
In this case, the FHC's allegations parallel those that the
Supreme Court held to be sufficient to establish standing in
Havens, 455 U.S. at 363, 102 S.Ct. 1114 and that the Court of
Appeals for this Circuit found sufficient in Spann, 899 F.2d at
28. In Havens, the Supreme Court reasoned as follows:
Havens, 455 U.S. at 378-79, 102 S.Ct. 1114. The FHC has alleged
sufficient injury to withstand a motion to ...