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Cherry Creek Mortgage chairman resigned, policy changes made after same-sex benefits lawsuit filed

Posted: 1:48 PM, Aug 30, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-30 15:48:57-04

DENVER – Not only did Cherry Creek Mortgage change its policy on benefits for same-sex couples a day after a lawsuit claimed the company had been denying a California couple coverage —the Greenwood Village-based company’s chairman resigned from the company and its board of directors.

Denver7 reported on the federal lawsuit filed by Judith Dominguez and Patricia Martinez, who sued the company and claimed they were denied health care benefits because they are a lesbian couple, last Thursday.

In the suit, Dominguez also claimed the company reassigned her to various branches and eventually left her without a job —something that allegedly happened after her wife was retroactively removed from their plan despite having had two heart attacks a year earlier.

On Friday, Cherry Creek Mortgage said it had re-evaluated its policy in the wake of the lawsuit’s filing and that it would offer health insurance plans to all of its employees who are in same-sex marriages.

“The company believes it is consistent with its values, and in the best interest of its employees and community,” a statement from the company said.

As it turns out, Cherry Creek Mortgage Chairman Wil Armstrong resigned both as chairman and from the company’s board of directors on the same day the company decided to make changes.

“I am grateful for the chance to have been a part of the team that helped thousands in achieving the dream of homeownership and in assisting them in managing often the largest financial transactions of their lives. My prayers will continue for Cherry Creek Mortgage’s management and employees, including their family members,” a statement from Armstrong said. “Cherry Creek Mortgage has assembled a great group of people, and I extend my best wishes to all for the years ahead.”

Despite Armstrong’s resignation and the company’s policy changes, the lawsuit by Dominguez and Martinez against Cherry Creek remains ongoing in U.S. Central District Court of California.

The couple is seeking damages and expenses for Martinez’s denial of health insurance, Dominguez’s alleged wrongful termination, general damages from physical emotion pain, attorneys’ fees and punitive and exemplary damages.

“The only thing more stunning than Cherry Creek’s bigotry is their hypocrisy,” said the couple’s attorney, Dan Stormer, of Los Angeles-based Hadsell, Stormer & Renick, when the suit was filed. “Under the U.S. Constitution, Patricia and Judith’s marriage is equal to any throughout the land. Cherry Creek’s owners can believe anything they want, but they can’t take away health coverage because of that belief.”