Suit Filed Claiming Dockless Scooters Endanger People with Disabilities Using San Diego Sidewalks
Alex Montoya, who wears prosthetics on both arms and his right leg, used to enjoy walking in his East Village neighborhood where he lives. No longer. Now he fears for his safety because every day he is dodging scooters travelling at high speeds down the sidewalk. Several times scooters strewn across his path also have caused him to nearly trip.
In recent months, dock-less scooters have become more common throughout San Diego’s neighborhoods. They are ubiquitous. This proliferation has occurred in an unregulated and haphazard fashion. For many scooters may be a nuisance. For others they may be a convenience. However, for blind people and people with mobility impairments, the presence and use of these scooters deny them access to public walkways and pose a serious risk to their safety.
Yesterday, the law firm of Neil, Dymott, Frank, McCabe & Hudson, and Disability Rights California filed a class action lawsuit https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/cases/montoya-et-al-v-bird-rides-inc-et-al on behalf of people with disabilities in the U.S. District Court under the Americans with Disabilities Act and state anti-discrimination laws. The suit challenges the failure of San Diego and private scooter companies to maintain accessibility of the city’s public sidewalks, curb ramps and cross walkways for people with disabilities. Plaintiffs are seeking an Order prohibiting the scooter companies from operating on public walkways and denying access to San Diego’s disabled residents.
“People with disabilities should not have to stay in their houses because they are afraid to venture out the door due to scooters blocking their pathway everywhere they go,” said Ann Menasche from Disability Rights California, one of the attorneys for the Plaintiffs. “They have a right to use the city sidewalks just like everyone else who lives or visits here.”
“The Scooter companies have treated our free public walkways as their own private rental offices, show rooms and storage facilities. The city has done nothing to stop them,” said Bob Frank, of Neil, Dymott Attorneys. “People with disabilities need to have access to city sidewalks and their needs must come first.”
Aaron Greeson, one of the Plaintiffs, who is blind, and visits the City several times a week, explained, “I never leave the Blind Center anymore. I’ve already fallen once because of the scooters. I don’t want it to happen again.”
Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization founded in 1978. We protect the rights of people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.disabilityrightsca.org.
Neil, Dymott, Frank, McCabe & Hudson is a southern California based law firm established in 1964. For more information, visit www.neildymott.com.