45 Years of Impact Spotlight
Fighting for Accessible Public Accommodations: Other Cases
DRP has also raised Title III of the ADA to improve accessibility in restaurants, shops, hotels, museums, and more.
In 1993, DRP filed Koval v. Servico Mgmt. Corp. on behalf of five people with disabilities against a hotel and three entities that sponsored a conference at the hotel about assistive technology and rehabilitation services. Despite assurances to the contrary, the hotel was not wheelchair-accessible and had only one accessible room, which was being used as a storage room. After DRP filed the lawsuit, the hotel agreed to make seven hotel rooms accessible. The entities that sponsored the conference agreed to adopt corporate policies providing that future conferences would be held at accessible locations and that hotel accessibility would be assessed in advance.
In 1996, DRP filed McLaughlin v. PECO Energy to challenge PECO Energy’s contracts with inaccessible retail stores and other public accommodations as PECO bill payment centers. The parties settled the case, which required PECO to inspect all of its bill payment centers, identify those without an accessible path of travel from the street, and to make the non-accessible locations accessible within two years. The lawsuit resulted in 91 locations being made accessible.
In 1996, DRP filed Dunkelberger v. Uni-Marts, Inc. to challenge the failure of a convenience store chain to remove architectural barriers at its nearly 275 stores in Pennsylvania. The parties entered into a Consent Decree that required the chain to complete an accessibility audit of its stores by March 31, 1998 and to complete necessary accessibility modifications by December 31, 1998.