Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF), et al. v. City of Los AngelesThe City and County of L.A. will Include People with all Types of Disabilities in Emergency Planning
The City and County of Los Angeles have experienced multiple natural disasters ranging from earthquakes, fires, and landslides; the County of L.A. has declared a state of emergency over twenty-four times since 1980. L.A.’s vulnerability to disasters highlighted the critical need to ensure that the City and County of L.A. include the safety of people with disabilities in their emergency plans. The case, filed in 2009, was brought on behalf of Plaintiffs: Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (“CALIF”), and Audrey Harthorn.
A landmark ruling in February 2011 held that the City of Los Angeles violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to meet the needs of its residents with mobility, vision, hearing, mental, and cognitive disabilities in planning for disasters. A court order followed requiring the City to revise its emergency plans to include people with disabilities.
In 2012, a settlement was reached with the County of L.A. to revise its emergency plans. These separate legal resolutions will ensure that nearly 1.3 million people with disabilities will be included in the City and County of L.A.’s emergency planning and will be safer when the next disaster strikes.
DRA co-counseled this case with the Disability Rights Legal Center.
On June 10, 2013, Judge Marshall issued an order approving the settlement agreement.