Judge approves Los Angeles sidewalk settlement

A federal judge has signed off on what disability rights attorneys are calling the largest disability access class action settlement in history.

Under the agreement, first announced in April 2015, the City of Los Angeles must spend an estimated $1.37 billion over the next 30 years to make its infrastructure more accessible, or more than five times its current average annual expenditures.

Specifically, the funds must go toward making the city more pedestrian friendly by removing barriers along its many ramps, cross walks and other walkways.

The settlement also is supposed to provide a means for people with disabilities to request improvements in their own neighborhoods.

“By making the city’s sidewalks and crosswalks accessible, this settlement will make it much easier for persons with mobility disabilities to get to and use government facilities, to find or get to jobs and workplaces, to go shopping, to go to the doctor, to participate in community life, and to be with their friends and families,” attorney Guy Wallace, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, told Courthouse News.

The lawsuit was filed by Los Angeles-based Communities Actively Living Independent and Free, which was represented by the Disability Rights Legal Center, the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law CenterSchneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns, and Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian and Ho.

Watch the Rooted in Rights Crappy Curbs video about similar curb and crosswalk accessibility issues in Seattle.

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