The lead plaintiff in this action is a Detroit-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists and advocates for people with disabilities. On September 9, 2005, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, suing the City of Detroit and claiming that the city had failed to meet federal and Michigan accessibility standards in altering intersections and sidewalks. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff claimed that the city had violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ("ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Michigan state accessibility laws codified at M.C.L. § 37.1301-02. The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief and compensatory damages.
On December 6, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint that added Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America as a plaintiff in the action. This complaint added more specific allegations as to the city's widespread failure to provide accessible surfaces.
On June 29, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction. Before a ruling could be issued on this motion the parties entered into negotiations and reached a partial settlement. In an August 31, 2006, the district court (Judge Gerald E. Rosen) approved a plan for correcting the affected city surfaces. The plan required that any future alterations of streets, intersections, sidewalks, or curb ramps would be done in compliance with ADA requirements and Michigan state disability laws. It also required that the City of Detroit install curb ramps into all resurfaced intersections. The City of Detroit was required to file annual reports proving their compliance with the order. The City of Detroit was also required to pay attorneys fees and costs accrued by the plaintiffs.
On October 16, 2006, the City of Detroit submitted a corrective action plan pursuant to the Court's August 31, 2006 order. This showed how the City planned to implement the settlement agreement in its existing resurfacing projects. After this, the City began remedying the affected areas, filing periodic status reports on their progress.
On August 13, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, alleging that the City's rebuilding of sidewalks on Bagley Avenue failed to meet ADA standards. The Court denied the plaintiffs' motion, stating that the plaintiffs had not met the high standard for obtaining a temporary restraining order. Instead, the court scheduled a status conference for the parties to discuss the issues raised in the motion. 2008 WL 3833764 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 13, 2008).
On September 30, 2008, Judge Rosen appointed a special master to organize the corrective action plan of the settlement. The special master continues to work with the parties in carrying out the agreement.
On February 10, 2012, the court issued a stipulated order regarding partial settlement as to retrofitting of 397 intersections.
As of March 17, 2016, the City of Detroit was still working on updating its sidewalks and surfaces in compliance with the settlement agreement. The District Court continues to issue periodic orders directing the defendant to pay attorney and special master fees.David Priddy - 08/04/2011
Jessica Kincaid - 03/17/2016