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State Sues Walgreen Co. Over Access Issues
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 13, 2003

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS--The Illinois Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Walgreen Co., claiming it fails to make its stores accessible to customers with disabilities.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed the suit Tuesday after a survey found that 69 of 79 Walgreen drugstores visited across the state violated accessibility laws. The store has more than 400 stores in Illinois.

The suit claims the stores do not have enough parking set aside for people with disabilities, have located existing parking spaces too far from store entrances, and have failed to provide signs designating accessible parking. Madigan claims many stores have steel poles, concrete trash cans and ramps that block wheelchair access at the entrances. Also, many have ramps that are dangerously steep and do not have handrails, the suit claims, and aisles in the stores are often blocked.

The attorney general's office said it has resolved complaints it has received against Walgreen on an individual basis, but decided that the problem was so widespread it needed to be addressed on a larger scale.

The suit seeks penalties of up to $250 per day for each violation and wants the company to pay for an independent monitor.

Last May, the California-based Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF) filed a lawsuit against Walgreen listing many of the same complaints regarding accessibility.

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