Fisher v. City of Berkeley

Scroll to case documents Date Filed: 08/22/2023 Status:

In August 2023, DRA filed a lawsuit against the City of Berkeley on behalf of three disabled members of the Berkeley Commission on Disability for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to allow them to attend Commission meetings remotely as an accommodation unless they subject themselves to burdensome, dangerous, and invasive requirements. Read the complaint here.

Rather than grant federally required disability accommodations for members who require remote attendance, the City forces disabled Commission members to have their home addresses posted publicly as teleconference locations and open up their homes to any member of the public who wishes to enter and attend the meeting from there, ostensibly to comply with state law, despite the dangers to them and aggravations to their health that can result from doing so.

In addition to violating federal law, Defendant’s requirements are dangerous. Plaintiff Walsh is immunocompromised: requiring her to allow the public into her home places her in the exact danger she seeks to avoid, exposing her to unpredictable and unknown additional risk of infection. Both Plaintiffs Fischer and Pugh at times must attend Commission meetings remotely from bed—requiring them to allow strangers into their homes, and potentially even bedrooms, during evening Commission meetings is both dangerous and intrusive and invades their privacy in a manner not required of non-disabled people. This places them in an unreasonably vulnerable position simply to serve their community and participate in the Commission. Opening Commission members’ homes to the public may be dangerous for the public as well, as private homes may not be safe for or accessible to members of the public with disabilities in the same way a public City meeting location is.

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