Ochoa, et al. v. City of Long Beach, et al.
In June 2014, DRA, Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho (GBDH), and Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Long Beach and its Mayor alleging that it discriminates against residents and visitors who have mobility disabilities by failing to maintain accessible sidewalks and pedestrian rights-of-way. Individuals who use wheelchairs, motorized scooters, or other mobility aides encounter ubiquitous obstacles in Long Beach. The absence of curb cuts means they must use alternate—at times life-threatening—paths of travel alongside vehicular traffic. Unsafe slopes create hazardous conditions for those who risk tipping out of their wheelchairs due to the steep incline. Uplifted and deteriorated sections of sidewalk and obstructions such as poles or trees result in lengthy circumnavigation to reach one’s destination.
As a result of these obstacles, people with a range of mobility disabilities are restricted in their ability to travel to work, restaurants, places of worship, medical appointments, and to visit with family and friends. Long Beach’s refusal to create accessible pedestrian rights-of-way and maintain public sidewalks unfairly prevents Long Beach residents and visitors with mobility disabilities from enjoying all that the City has to offer.
This lawsuit was brought in federal court by five individuals with mobility disabilities who live in and around the Long Beach area, on behalf of a class of all residents and visitors with mobility disabilities in the City. On September 17, 2015, Judge Dale S. Fischer certified a class and appointed DRA, GBDH, and DRLC as class counsel.