Arlington Settles Disabilities Lawsuit After 7 Years

Settlement requires upgrades to specific locations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After a seven year legal battle that reached the Supreme Court, Arlington and a group of citizens have reached an agreement to improve accessibility in the city. (Published Thursday, Oct 18, 2012)

    After legal battles that knocked on the door of the U.S. Supreme Court, this week the city of Arlington settled a seven-year lawsuit with a group of residents.

    Richard Frame, a quadriplegic, filed a lawsuit against the city seven years ago claiming that Arlington was in violation of American Disabilities Act. Frame, along with several other residents who joined the suit, said some areas around the city were not accessible to people with disabilities.

    The city said it was never a case of trying to deny citizens their rights.

    "There was some complex legal issues that had to be sorted out, matters of law," Assistant City Attorney Melinda Barlow said.

    The city eventually appealed the lawsuit in the hopes that the Supreme Court would take it up. When the high court refused, the city settled.

    In addition to continued compliance with the ADA, the settlement requires upgrades within the next 25 months to specific locations throughout the city that were identified in the lawsuit.

    "We have a great agreement and, hopefully, it's an agreement that other cities can use to make their cities better," Frame said. "At this point, it's all positive."

    The settlement also requires the city to compensate the plaintiffs for their legal fees over the last seven years.