ADAPT Activists Protest Transit System's Counter-suit
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 3, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA--Disability advocates in Philadelphia demonstrated Thursday against the local transit service's decision to sue for court costs after a judge threw out a discrimination lawsuit filed against it.
According to a story by KYW-TV, around noon a dozen protesters from ADAPT of Philadelphia gathered at the Liberty Bell in Center City and expected to be joined by about 20 more protesters.
The group planned to travel several blocks to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) headquarters. The action was intended to draw attention to SEPTA's attempt to recover court costs related to an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit filed by the grandmother of a 5-year-old girl who allegedly was refused service on a SEPTA bus.
SEPTA officials said the girl's wheelchair did not fit on the bus because it was not of a standard size but was more like a stroller.
A judge ultimately threw out the suit. SEPTA is now suing the attorney that represented the grandmother for $8,200 of the approximately $130,000 it spent on court costs, the station reported.
SEPTA, which has been the target of a number of disability-related lawsuits in recent years, said the case was frivolous.
But, ADAPT activist Nancy Salandra said to KYW, "If we lose a case, they're going to make us pay?"
"It's not like we're getting any money out of these cases," Salandra explained. "We only sue because we have no choice because (SEPTA) wont' do what they're supposed to do according to the ADA."
Related story with video:
"Disabled Advocates Protest SEPTA" (KYW-TV)