Class Certified in Elevator Access Case against MTA; Summary Judgment Motion Pending
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2018
New York, NY—A federal judge has ordered that a class be certified in a case brought by Disability Rights Advocates charging that the MTA violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it failed to install elevators during a 26.6 million dollar renovation of the Middletown Road subway station in the Bronx in 2013 and 2014 that closed the station for seven months. In March 2018, the United States Department of Justice intervened in the case in support of the plaintiffs who are two individuals who use wheelchairs, Bronx Independent Living Services, an independent living center serving people with disabilities who live in the Bronx, and Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York, a non-profit civil rights organization committed to ending discrimination against people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes that access to public transportation is crucial for ensuring that people with disabilities can access work, school, and community life. The law requires that entities make public transit stations accessible as they complete major renovations, like the renovation the MTA completed at Middletown Road station. The MTA’s failure to consider accessibility at the Middletown Road station is particularly egregious in light of the fact that the 6 Line in the Bronx, which includes the Middletown Road station, is 89% inaccessible.
“The MTA’s renovation of the Middletown Road station cost millions, and left behind riders with disabilities,” said Michelle Caiola, Director of Litigation at DRA, “We are thrilled that the case can continue on behalf of all riders impacted by this civil rights violation.”
Currently pending is Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment which seeks a finding that the MTA’s recent station renovation at the Middletown Road station triggered accessibility obligations under the ADA, which the MTA ignored.
DOJ has submitted a letter supporting Plaintiffs’ positions.
About Disability Rights Advocates
Founded in 1993, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with the full spectrum of disabilities in complex, system-changing, class action cases. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to health care, employment, transportation, education, disaster preparedness planning, voting and housing. For more information, visit www.dralegal.org.