Sacramento Settles Sidewalk Accessibility Case
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 30, 2003
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--Last Tuesday the city of Sacramento agreed to settle a sidewalk accessibility lawsuit filed against it four years ago.
As part of the settlement agreement, which still must be approved by federal court, the city will pay $10,000 to each of the eight people who were listed as plaintiffs in the case, known as Barden v. Sacramento. The city will also pay as much as $795,000 toward legal fees, and spend 20 percent of its transportation budget during the next 30 years to make sidewalks, crosswalks and curb ramps accessible as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The Sacramento City Council approved the settlement Tuesday night during a closed-door meeting.
Later in the week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal Sacramento had made to overturn the Ninth Circuit's ruling that city sidewalks are covered by the ADA and must be made accessible. Dozens of California cities had shown support for Sacramento's position, but the U.S. Department of Justice had urged the high court to reject the city's appeal.
The events eased worries by disability rights advocates who had been concerned that the case would be used to challenge whether cities must follow the ADA.
"Disabled, city settle sidewalk lawsuit" (Sacramento Bee)