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Neighbors Sound Off Over Noises

July 20, 1999|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Neighbors of a man with Tourette's syndrome are trying to force him out of his condominium because his foot-stomping, hooting and barking are keeping them awake.

On Monday, however, they agreed to stop trying to oust 53-year-old Jeffrey Marthon until his federal lawsuit is resolved.

Marthon says federal laws protecting the disabled should keep him from being forced out. Monday's agreement followed a warning from U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur, who agreed with Marthon that he is protected by law.

"My reading is that Congress has put its thumb on the plaintiff's [Marthon's] side of the balance scales," Shadur said.

Marthon, an attorney, has been troubled by Tourette's syndrome all his life. The neurological disorder causes abrupt, involuntary body movements and sounds.

Marthon and his wife, Maureen Kilty, lived peacefully at the Maple Grove condominiums in suburban Downers Grove for a dozen years.

He said that complaints about his noises did not become an issue until last year when condominium association president Paula Beranek moved into a unit just below his third-floor home.

The condominium association sued last month to force the sale of Marthon's condo. He countersued.

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