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Case Name Center for Independence of the Disabled v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority DR-NY-0012
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-02990-KBF ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On April 25, 2017, a group of New York City disability rights organizations and three New York City residents who use wheelchairs filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, ... read more >
On April 25, 2017, a group of New York City disability rights organizations and three New York City residents who use wheelchairs filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the interim executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Transit Authority, the acting president of the New York City Transit Authority, and the City of New York, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”).

The plaintiffs sought class-action certification; an order and judgment enjoining defendants from violating Title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the NYCHRL; declaratory relief; an order requiring defendants to institute system-wide policies and practices necessary to ensure the subway system elevators regularly operate in a useable and sanitary condition and provision of adequate notice and alternative accommodations when outages occur; and attorneys’ fees.

The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants’ failure to maintain the limited number of elevators in the subway caused the systematic discriminatory exclusion of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with mobility disabilities from New York City’s subway system in violation of state and federal law. Specifically, they claimed that the defendants’ failure to maintain the subway elevators caused riders with mobility disabilities to routinely face frequent elevator outages occurring without notice and lasting as long as several months; that the defendants gave no warning of outages and did not provide alternate accommodations when they occur; and that as a result of defendants’ failure to provide proper maintenance, they have denied New Yorkers with mobile disabilities access to public transportation.

The plaintiffs argued that the transit agency’s failure to provide an adequate number of elevators in the subway system violates the city’s human rights law, whose aim is to “eliminate and prevent discrimination from playing any role in actions relating to employment, public accommodations and housing and other real estate, and to take other actions against prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and bias-related violence or harassment.” The plaintiffs' federal claims alleged that the transit agency’s failure to maintain operable elevators violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discriminating against people with disabilities in public facilities.

On September 6, 2017, the Court dismissed the action without prejudice as against the City of New York on the ground that the lease between the City and the Transit Authority gives the Transit Authority full jurisdiction, control, possession, and supervision of New York transit facilities and limits the City’s right of reentry to the leased facilities to repair service facilities that are not used for transit purposes.

On November 3, 2017, Judge Katherine B. Forrest issued an order certifying the action to proceed as a class action on behalf of all persons who use or seek to use the New York City subway system and have a disability that requires them to use an elevator to access the subway system.

The parties proceeded to discovery and deposition in 2018 and the case was reassigned to Judge Robert W. Sweet on September 20, 2018. Discovery continued under Judge Sweet, until he passed away on March 24, 2019. The case was reassigned to Judge George B. Daniels on April 8, 2019. On May 28, 2019, Judge Daniels terminated a motion for extension of time to complete discovery, a motion to compel, and a motion for discovery pursuant to the May 2, 2019, status conference. Two more motions were resolved on June 4, 2019.

On August 9, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment. They moved the court to find that the defendant discriminated against individuals with mobility disabilities by systemically failing to implement adequate, programmatic subway system elevator maintenance in violation of Title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York City Human Rights Law. Plaintiffs' experts also filed supporting statements.

On the same day, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. They moved the court to find in favor of the defendant on all claims in the complaint and dismiss the complaint in its entirety.

An oral argument was held on October 24, 2019. At the conclusion of oral argument, the court reserved decision on the motions and declined to set a trial date.

On November 14, 2019, the plaintiffs filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. On November 18, the defendants briefly responded in a letter to the judge and asked that the plaintiffs’ filing be stricken from the docket because the filing was not solicited by the court.

The case is ongoing.

Nina Cahill - 01/19/2018
Sichun Liu - 01/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Transportation
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Buildings
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Other
Reasonable Accommodations
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) City of New York
Metropolitan Transit Authority
New York City Transit Authority
Plaintiff Description All persons who use or seek to use the New York City Subway system, and have a disability that requires them to use the elevator to access the subway system.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PA-NY-0003 : Center for the Independence of the Disabled v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (State Court)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:17-cv-2990 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-NY-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal Without Prejudice [ECF# 53] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order Certifying Class [ECF# 63] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 143]
DR-NY-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transit Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 162]
DR-NY-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 193]
DR-NY-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Daniels, George B. (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Forrest, Katherine Bolan (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0002 | DR-NY-0012-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Daniel L (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0004 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Caiola, Michelle Anne (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-0002 | DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0004 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Goodell, Maia Beth (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0004 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Kolic, Jelena (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-0004 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Packrone, Seth Emmanuel (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Rodgers, Rebecca Juliet (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Seaborn, Stuart (California) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Seelenfreund, Emily (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0004 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0001 | DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bowe, Martin John (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0002 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Foley, Eamonn Francis (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Hechtkopf, Helene Rachel (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0005 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Kerwin, James Luke (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Lipton, Ira J. (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0002 | DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0005 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Manber, Miriam Jerry (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0005 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Silverberg, Steven Mark (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-0003 | DR-NY-0012-0005 | DR-NY-0012-9000
Toews, Mark Galen (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Other Lawyers Boller, Robert James (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000
Ross, Lauren Kelley (New York) show/hide docs
DR-NY-0012-9000

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