University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Californians for Disability Rights, Inc. v. California Department of Transportation DR-CA-0025
Docket / Court RG 08376549 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
This case challenged the California Department of Transportation's failure to provide equal access to their facilities to persons with mobility or vision impairments. It was brought by an advocacy groups and individuals as a continuation of the claims previously asserted as a part of a federal ... read more >
This case challenged the California Department of Transportation's failure to provide equal access to their facilities to persons with mobility or vision impairments. It was brought by an advocacy groups and individuals as a continuation of the claims previously asserted as a part of a federal lawsuit addressing these same issues. In that case, Defendants waited a year after the federal complaint was filed before asserting their right to have state law claims heard in state court.

Both cases claim the defendants have allowed barriers to public transportation facilities to remain in place despite the hazardous conditions they create, including dangerous curb cuts, inaccessible paths, non-compliant parking, and other deficiencies.

In the midst the federal trial, the parties agreed to suspend the state and federal proceedings and began several months of settlement negotiations. This state court action was held in abeyance pending final approval of the settlement, after which it was to be dismissed.

On June 2, 2010, the U.S. District Court, which had already certified the federal class, certified a state settlement class as well and approved the agreement. The terms of the agreement, which is to last 30 years, with a 7 year period for monitoring by an access expert and 23 years of monitoring through detailed, annual reports, include extensive requirements for access barrier removal to pedestrian facilities, a grievance procedure and priority guidelines, and upgrades to existing facilities any time defendants resurface roadways in the future.

Denise Heberle - 08/24/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Goals and Timekeeping
Monitoring
Defendant-type
Transportation
Disability
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) California Department of Transportation
Plaintiff Description Two advocacy groups for individuals with mobility or vision impairments and two individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-CA-0002 : Californians for Disability Rights, Inc. v. California Department of Transportation (N.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement
DR-CA-0025-0003 PDF | Detail
First Amended Complaint 04/09/2008
DR-CA-0025-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order - Demurrer to First Amended Complaint Overruled 12/19/2008
DR-CA-0025-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Freedman, Robert B. (State Trial Court)
DR-CA-0025-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Heller, Roger Norton (California)
DR-CA-0025-0001 | DR-CA-0025-0003
Kimber, Mary-Lee E. (California)
DR-CA-0025-0001 | DR-CA-0025-0003
Nepveu, Julie (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0025-0001 | DR-CA-0025-0003
Paradis, Laurence W. (California)
DR-CA-0025-0001 | DR-CA-0025-0003
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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