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Fair treatment and access -- wins under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted July, 2000

From "ENFORCING THE ADA: Looking Back on a Decade of Progress" -- A Special Tenth Anniversary Status Report from the Department of Justice

Denver Police Must Pay Back Pay for Failure to Reassign

The U.S. District Court in Denver awarded Jack Davoll full back pay with interest in the amount of nearly $150,000 and front pay of more than $76,000 in United States v. City and County of Denver.

Davoll is a former Denver police officer who sought reassignment after he suffered injuries in the line of duty to his back, neck, and shoulder and could no longer perform the essential functions of a police officer. The Department earlier won a jury award on his behalf of $300,000 in damages for pain and suffering because of Denver's refusal to reassign him to a vacant job that he was qualified to perform -- such as criminal investigator or probation officer.

The Court also granted full back pay relief in simultaneous private litigation to two other plaintiffs who were denied reassignment. Paul Escobedo was granted $250,000 in back pay and nearly $60,000 in front pay and Deborah Clair received $250,000 in back pay and more than $65,000 in front pay.

Read other employment success stories

South Carolina Motel Pays Damages, Penalties for Refusing Room

The Department resolved by consent decree a lawsuit challenging the outright exclusion of people with disabilities from a motel in South Carolina. The Ocean Plaza Motel in Myrtle Beach refused to rent a room to a group of two teenagers and their mothers because the two teenagers have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs.

Under the consent decree, the owner and operators agreed to implement and post a formal written policy that the motel will not deny persons with disabilities the services, facilities and accommodations of the motel; will train its employees in the equal and dignified treatment of guests with disabilities; remove architectural barriers at the motel over a two-year period, where such removal is readily achievable; pay $92,000 plus interest to the complainants over the two-year period; and pay civil penalties of $5,000 to the U.S. Treasury.

Read other stories on how the ADA has removed obstacles to travel and lodging.

Yankee Stadium Increases Accessible Seating

A consent decree entered into by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the New York Yankees, and the City of New York will vastly increase the number of accessible wheelchair seating locations at Yankee Stadium.

In the past, a total of only 44 pairs of wheelchair and companion seating locations were available at the stadium, 12 of which were sold at the highest ticket price level and none of which were sold at any of the lowest three ticket price levels. Under the agreement, the Yankees and the city agreed to increase the number of wheelchair and companion seating locations to up to 400 pairs of seating locations and disperse those seating locations throughout the lower levels of the stadium. These areas include infield and outfield seating on the field level, in the main level boxes, the main reserve section, the bleachers, the loge, and in two entirely new seating sections to be constructed in an area near Monument Park in left field and in an area behind right center field.

The consent decree also requires the defendants to provide at least 300 designated aisle transfer seats in the stadium. In addition, the defendants agreed to sell tickets to both regular season and post-season games for all but 18 of the wheelchair seating locations at the three lowest ticket price levels (there are eight ticket price levels for the 2000 season), provide persons with disabilities the opportunity to purchase regular season and postseason tickets through all of the same methods afforded to persons without disabilities, and make components within Yankee Stadium, such as exterior and interior routes, signs, restrooms, telephones, drinking fountains, concession areas, elevators, ticket windows, restaurants, luxury suites, and press areas accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Yankees also agreed to pay a $25,000 civil penalty and to make $10,000 in charitable contributions.

Read more about the ADA increasing access to sports and recreation.

Read the entire report

Visit the Dept. of Justice's ADA website









Expert sources

From the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers:

Historical Context of the ADA

ADA definition of disability

Overview of law's structure

The ADA is changing the landscape of America -- commentary

"The ADA changed my life" -- personal stories

The meaning of "disability" under ADA

"A misunderstood law" -- commentary

The ADA Notification Act

Supreme Court ADA decisions:

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