Westchester Independent Living Center, et al. v. SUNY Purchase, et al.

Scroll to case documents Date Filed: 07/26/2016 Status:

Court preliminarily approves settlement improving the accessibility of the State University of New York at Purchase Campus.

If you are a SUNY Purchase College student or visitor to the Purchase College campus who has a disability impacting your mobility please see this information: https://bit.ly/2VZuNnE .

On September 14, 2021, Judge Cathy Seibel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York preliminarily approved a class settlement with the State University of New York, Purchase College (“Purchase College” or “SUNY Purchase”) regarding the accessibility of the pedestrian paths of travel on the SUNY Purchase campus for students and visitors with mobility disabilities.   

You may be a member of the class of impacted people if you are a SUNY Purchase student or campus visitor with a mobility disability who has faced accessibility barriers on the paths of travel on the SUNY Purchase campus.

Click here for the notice of this proposed settlement. The notice explains how the settlement may affect you and includes important information about your rights. Please read it carefully.

Judge Seibel will make a final decision about whether to approve this proposed class settlement at a fairness hearing. The fairness hearing was previously set for January 7, but has been moved to January 11, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. The hearing will be held by telephone. Members of the public can join the call at  (877) 336 1839, access code: 1047966#. Please note that the Court strictly prohibits recording or rebroadcasting of Court proceedings.

The full text of the proposed settlement agreement and the notice can be found below.

Please email sunysettlement@dralegal.org if you have questions, need additional information, or would like to be notified if the Court holds the hearing remotely.

In July 2016, DRA filed this class action lawsuit against the State University of New York at Purchase College, located in Westchester County, alleging that it violates federal and state disability law by not providing students and visitors with mobility disabilities equal access to its educational and cultural programs. 

Specifically, the suit says that those who use wheelchairs or have mobility disabilities encounter widespread physical access barriers along the campus’ paths of travel that can prevent students and visitors from getting to classes and cultural attractions.  For example, SUNY Purchase does not provide adequate ways—like functioning elevators—to navigate up the stairs and hills that lead to the most important part of the campus.  Other hazards and hurdles include uneven and crumbling pavement, missing curb cuts, dangerously steep slopes, and woefully insufficient signage to routes intended for people with disabilities.

The lawsuit is brought by the Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC), a nonprofit advocacy center that works on behalf of people with disabilities, and two individuals with mobility disabilities who have encountered the access barriers first-hand.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and seeks remediation of all campus physical access barriers.

Disability: Case Area: ,