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Case Name Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled v. Bloomberg DR-NY-0007
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-06690-JMF ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On September 26, 2011, individuals with disabilities and several related organizations filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against New York City and its mayor under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehabilitation Act"), 29 U.S. ... read more >
On September 26, 2011, individuals with disabilities and several related organizations filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against New York City and its mayor under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehabilitation Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 794, et seq., Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq., and the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL"), New York City Admin. Code §8-101 et seq. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and attorneys' fees.

The plaintiffs, represented by counsel from the Disability Rights Advocates, claimed that the defendants unlawfully discriminated against disabled individuals by inadequately planning for the evacuation of people with disabilities, failing to provide an accessible shelter system; ignoring the unique needs of people with disabilities in the event of a power outage; failing to communicate adequately with people with special needs during an emergency; and failing to account for the needs of people with disabilities in recovery operations following a disaster. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the City's discrimination in emergency planning was demonstrated by the City's response to Hurricane Irene and September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which failed in various ways to appropriately accommodate those with disabilities.

On June 29, 2012, plaintiffs amended their complaint to add a plaintiff and clarify their factual claims.

On November 7, 2012, the District Court (Judge Jesse M. Furman) issued an opinion ruling that both the organized and individual plaintiffs had standing to sue and certifying the class defined as "all people with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12102, who are within the City and the jurisdiction served by the City's emergency preparedness programs and services."

On May 10, 2013, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a statement of interest urging the court to find that the defendants violated the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act and noting among other things that the defendants nowhere contended that making reasonable accommodations was impractical.

On November 7, 2013, after a six day trial on the question of liability the District Court (Judge Furman) ruled that the defendants violated the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the NYCHRL. Specifically the court found that: "(1) The City's evacuation plans do not accommodate the needs of people with disabilities with respect to high-rise evacuation and accessible transportation; (2) its shelter plans do not require that the shelter system be sufficiently accessible, either architecturally or programmatically, to accommodate people with disabilities in an emergency; (3) the City has no plan for canvassing or for otherwise ensuring that people with disabilities -- who may, because of their disability, be unable to leave their building after a disaster -- are able to access the services provided by the City after an emergency; (4) the City's plans to distribute resources in the aftermath of a disaster do not provide for accessible communications at the facilities where resources are distributed; (5) the City's outreach and education program fails in several respects to provide people with disabilities the same opportunity as others to develop a personal emergency plan; and (6) the City lacks sufficient plans to provide people with disabilities information about the existence and location of accessible services in an emergency." Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled v. Bloomberg 290 F.R.D. 409.

On December 4, 2013, the District Court ordered the parties to engage in settlement negotiation with a mediator to be paid for by the defendants. As of December 6, 2013, the negotiations are still on-going.

Brian Kempfer - 12/06/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Fire
Transportation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Integrated setting
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Bathrooms
Buildings
Communication skills
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Education
Emergency shelter
Failure to train
Government Services (specify)
Housing
Housing assistance
Improper treatment of mentally ill suspects
Individualized planning
Juveniles
Placement in shelters
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Reassessment and care planning
Transportation
TTY/Close Captioning/etc.
Website
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Brain injury
Cerebral palsy
Down syndrome
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) New York City
Plaintiff Description Organizations for people with disabilities and a class of "all people with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12102, who are within the City and the jurisdiction served by the City’s emergency preparedness programs and services."
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 Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-NY-0008 : Toney-Dick v. Doar (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:11-cv-06690-JMF (S.D.N.Y.) 01/08/2014
DR-NY-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/26/2011
DR-NY-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 06/29/2012
DR-NY-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/07/2012 (290 F.R.D. 409) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States of America 05/10/2013
DR-NY-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 11/07/2013 (980 F.Supp.2d 588) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Furman, Jesse Matthew (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0007-0003 | DR-NY-0007-0005 | DR-NY-0007-9000
Maas, Frank S. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
DR-NY-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Daniel L (New York)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Parks, Shawna L (California)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Pinover, Julia (New York)
DR-NY-0007-0001 | DR-NY-0007-0002 | DR-NY-0007-9000
Smith, Mary-Lee Kimber (California)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Williford, Rebecca S. (California)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California)
DR-NY-0007-0001 | DR-NY-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Calhoun, Martha Anne (New York)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Kruk, Carolyn Elizabeth (New York)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Toews, Mark Galen (New York)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)
DR-NY-0007-0004
Jukubowski, Teresa L. (District of Columbia)
DR-NY-0007-9000
Tinio, Rebecca S. (New York)
DR-NY-0007-0004

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