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Case Name Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living v. Oregon Department of Transportation DR-OR-0002
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-00322 ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On Feburary 22, 2016, eight Oregonians with disabilities and the Association for Oregon Centers of Independent Living (AOCIL) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon under Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiffs requested ... read more >
On Feburary 22, 2016, eight Oregonians with disabilities and the Association for Oregon Centers of Independent Living (AOCIL) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon under Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiffs requested injunctive relief, asking the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) take action to fix curb ramps around the state.

The plaintiffs alleged that persons using wheelchairs were forced to navigate their chairs in traffic on busy highways because of lack of adequate curb ramps, and that blind people could only guess where and when it is safe to cross the street, in direct violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act requires state and local governments to ensure persons with disabilities have access to the pedestrian routes in the public right-of-way.

The plaintiffs additionally alleged that ODOT has done little to make the roads safe and accessible to people with disabilities despite its legal obligations. Oregonians with disabilities were barred from the most important streets of their cities and towns by badly-constructed or missing ramps. For instance, in Portland, broken and missing curb ramps on Lombard Street in North Portland prevented people in wheelchairs from safely using public transit and going to stores.

On April 28, 2016, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On May 25, 2016, defendants filed motion to dismiss. On June 22, 2016, a settlement conference was held between the parties. Then, pn November 7, 2016, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.

On December 5, 2016, plaintiffs and defendants entered into a stipulation of settlement, and submitted joint motion seeking approval of the agreement as a class action settlement. After initially granting preliminary approval and allowing the parties to go forward with notice procedures, the court granted final approval of the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate on March 27, 2017.

The settlement included the following notable provisions. ODOT agreed to complete an updated inventory of curb ramps and pedestrian crossing signals by December 31, 2017. From there, ODOT agreed to remediate both curb ramps and pedestrian crossing signals according to more specific terms for each laid out in the agreement. ODOT also agreed to commit $5 million to address curb ramps and pedestrian crossing signals once ODOT and the plaintiffs identified locations and/or priorities. ODOT budgeted $18 million for the 2018 to 2021 Oregon Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to implement the terms of the settlement agreement.

The settlement also provided for an Accessibility Consultant to work with the defendants as they carried out their obligations under the agreement, and to monitor and report on the conditions over time. Both the defendants and the accessibility consultant would file annual reports under the agreement. Additionally, the agreement required ODOT to set up a process for receiving public complaints and requests regarding accessibility and transportation infrastructure.

The agreement was set to terminate once ODOT completed their obligations under section 4 (governing remediation of curb ramps) and section 5 (governing remediation of pedestrian crossing signals). The parties agreed to announce the settlement in a joint press release describing their partnership in improving accessibility throughout the Oregon highway system. The defendants did not admit fault in the settlement, and the entire agreement was subject to state law regulating funding, although ODOT agreed to make diligent efforts to obtain necessary appropriations.

The agreement also included a schedule for curb ramp remediation compliance, and required ODOT to reach the following targets by certain dates: remediation of 30% of non-compliant curb ramp locations by the end of 2022; remediation of 75% of non-compliant curb ramp locations by the end of 2027; and remediation of all non-compliant curb ramp locations by the end of 2032.

In the event disputes arose, the settlement provided for a resolution process that looked first to cooperation between the parties and the accessibility consultant. If the dispute persisted, the parties would submit the dispute to a special master first, with a process for the parties to appeal that decision to Judge Simon in the District Court, and then if necessary, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On March 29, 2017, two days after approving the agreement, the court issued a judgment stating that it would retain jurisdiction for the life of the agreement, and the plaintiffs would be awarded attorneys' fees in an amount to be determined in a supplemental judgment.

On June 5, 2017, the court appointed the Hon. Janice Simon (Ret.) as the special master. As of March 19, 2019, there have been no additional filings in the District Court related to enforcement of the terms of the settlement agreement.

Ginny Lee - 02/11/2017
Chris Pollack - 03/19/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Transportation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Impact
Reasonable Accommodations
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Oregon Department of Transportation
Plaintiff Description The Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living is an Oregon statewide non-profit corporation representing seven accredited Centers for Independent Living. Its mission is to lead the consumer driven Independent Living Movement by supporting the CILs, engaging in systems advocacy, community education, and development of collaborative partnerships.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2032
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:16-cv-322 (D. Or.)
DR-OR-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Civil Rights Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 2]
DR-OR-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement
DR-OR-0002-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 10/26/2016
Plaintiff's Second Amended Civil Rights Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 40]
DR-OR-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Corrected Settlement Agreement [ECF# 47]
DR-OR-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion For Final Approval of Proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement [ECF# 53] (D. Or.)
DR-OR-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Appointing Special Master [ECF# 56] (D. Or.)
DR-OR-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hernandez, Marco Antonio (D. Or.) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0006 | DR-OR-0002-0007 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brischetto, Stephen L. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0001 | DR-OR-0002-0003 | DR-OR-0002-0004 | DR-OR-0002-0005 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Stenson, Thomas (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0001 | DR-OR-0002-0003 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Strauhull, Jonathan P. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0001 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Wenk, Theodore E. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0001 | DR-OR-0002-0003 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Wilde, Kathleen L. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0001 | DR-OR-0002-0003 | DR-OR-0002-0004 | DR-OR-0002-0005 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Englander, Nina R. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-9000
Kaplan, Scott J. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-9000
Merritt, Matthew J. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-9000
Scott, Carla (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-0004 | DR-OR-0002-0005 | DR-OR-0002-9000
Stineman, Renee R. (Oregon) show/hide docs
DR-OR-0002-9000

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