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