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An administrative law judge for the state Division of Human Rights has awarded a Buffalo woman $20,000 on her housing-discrimination claim brought against a Woltz Avenue couple.

The award may be one of the largest ever awarded in Western New York, said Sean Ryan, an attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services.

Judge William E. Straub, ruled that Altheria Anderson, an African-American, suffered physical and emotional injuries in 1989 at the hands of her landlords, Joseph and Anna Gruzdaitis.

He also awarded Ms. Anderson $10,000 in punitive damages since he found the actions taken against her were extremely willful and malicious.

Ms. Anderson said the Gruzdaitises uttered racial slurs at her and relatives who visited her at the apartment, and that she was spat on and assaulted.

She also said she was locked out of her apartment for six days and had to obtain a court order to gain entry.

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