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Case Name Voices for Independence v. Meadville DR-PA-0003
Docket / Court 1:04-cv-00328 ( W.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On November 10, 2004, Voices for Independence, a non-profit disability advocacy group, and a class of disabled individuals, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, against the City of Meadville, PA. The Plaintiffs alleged that Meadville had used ... read more >
On November 10, 2004, Voices for Independence, a non-profit disability advocacy group, and a class of disabled individuals, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, against the City of Meadville, PA. The Plaintiffs alleged that Meadville had used federal funds to repave roads and had failed to install mandatory curb cuts, and to otherwise comply with the accessibility mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq. Class certification was sought but the parties entered a court-approved Consent Decree before a decision on class certification was issued.

The Court granted approval of the parties' Consent Decree on May 17, 2005, wherein Meadville committed to ensure, to the maximum extent feasible, that all roads resurfaced in 2005 would be accessible to individuals with disabilities. This included a commitment to ensure that all resurfaced intersections had curb cuts. They also agreed to require all bids and contracts for the work specify ADA compliance. Meadville also agreed to issue an Annual Report of Compliance on or before January 31 2006, list each intersection resurfaced in 2005 and stating where new curb cuts had been installed. The City agreed to retrofit roads that had been resurfaced in 2003 in order to bring them into compliance with the ADA.

A Second Consent Decree was entered on August 9, 2005. In the Second Consent Decree the the City of Meadville agreed that all resurfacing in 2006 and thereafter would comply with the ADA. The City agreed to prepare a list of all roads resurfaced since January 26, 2002, and detailing the ADA compliance status of all relevant intersections and sidewalks; upon completing this, the parties agreed to enter good faith negotiations to identify areas in need of retrofitting. In the Consent Decree, the plaintiffs acknowledges that certain highways in Meadville had been resurfaced by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and that the City would not be responsible for retrofitting these areas. Meadville agreed to prepare a list of streets resurfaced by PennDOT, to be submitted to the Court within ninety days of the effective date of the decree.

The Second Consent Decree granted the Plaintiffs $82,762 in attorneys' fee and costs. The Court retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the consent decrees.

In 2006, a related case was filed against PennDOT (see related cases). On March 11, 2009, the plaintiffs, the City of Meadville, and PennDOT entered another Consent Decree, wherein Meadville and PennDOT divided responsibility for the resurfaced roads, sidewalks, and intersections in Meadville still in need retrofitting in order to be ADA-compliant. Meadville agreed to retrofit the roads for which it was responsible by no later than December 31, 2013.

Alex Colbert-Taylor - 06/11/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Transportation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Disparate Impact
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Sidewalks
Transportation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) City of Meadville, PA
Plaintiff Description Voices for Independence, a non-profit disability advocacy group, and a class of disabled individuals, alleging the City of Meadville, PA failed to provide adequate curb cuts as required by the ADA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - 2013
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-PA-0004 : Voices for Independence v. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (W.D. Pa.)
DR-PA-0006 : Barrier Busters v. City of Erie (W.D. Pa.)
Docket(s)
1:04−cv−00328 (W.D. Pa.) 03/11/2009
DR-PA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
All Parties' Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree [With First Consent Decree Attached] 05/10/2005
DR-PA-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Second Consent Decree 08/24/2005
DR-PA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Closing Case Administratively] 10/28/2005 (W.D. Pa.)
DR-PA-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 03/11/2009 (W.D. Pa.)
DR-PA-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McLaughlin, Sean J. (W.D. Pa.)
DR-PA-0003-0002 | DR-PA-0003-0004 | DR-PA-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Finnegan, John Mark (Michigan)
DR-PA-0003-0003 | DR-PA-0003-0005 | DR-PA-0003-9000
Heberle, Denise M. (Michigan)
DR-PA-0003-0003 | DR-PA-0003-9000
Markham, Craig A. (Pennsylvania)
DR-PA-0003-0003 | DR-PA-0003-0005 | DR-PA-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adsit, Diane Putney (Pennsylvania)
DR-PA-0003-0003
Hotchkiss, David L. (Pennsylvania)
DR-PA-0003-0003 | DR-PA-0003-0005 | DR-PA-0003-9000
Schetroma, Russell I (Pennsylvania)
DR-PA-0003-0005
Yoset, Thomas L. (Pennsylvania)
DR-PA-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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