Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 16, 2012
On June 5, 2012, trial will commence in an action brought against Walt Disney Parks & Resorts by a class consisting of all blind visitors to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. In Shields v. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, the class action pending in Los Angeles, the class alleges that the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks refuse to accommodate the needs of blind visitors, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. An attorney for the nationwide class, Andy Dogali of Forizs & Dogali, P.A., Tampa, Florida, summarizes the Plaintiffs’ claims, which are stated in their Amended Complaint and further described in the 45-page Class Certification Order entered by Judge Dolly M. Gee, United States District Judge, as follows:
- Disney does not provide park schedules, park maps, or dining menus in formats which are accessible to blind persons, such as in electronic form, Braille, or large print;
- Disney does not accommodate the needs of guide dogs or their owners in the parks;
- Disney’s websites do not accommodate blind persons who use screen reader programs to access information;
- Disney does not accommodate the needs of blind persons during live parades and shows;
- Disney provides neither sighted guides for blind visitors nor discounted admission for sighted companions who accompany and support blind persons in the parks;
- Disney’s costumed characters discriminate against blind visitors who are accompanied by guide dogs;
- Lockers at Disneyland are inaccessible for disabled persons;
- Parking garages at Disneyland are inaccessible for disabled persons.
On April 1, 2011, the blind plaintiffs and Disney commenced an extended mediation, through which they attempted to settle the various claims, and the court allowed a number of postponements of the lawsuit while the negotiations continued. On Friday, February 10, the most recent deadline established by the Court, the blind plaintiffs and Disney reported to the Court that their negotiation efforts have failed. As a result, the parties have been ordered to trial on June 5.
The two plaintiffs who have been certified to represent the class of blind visitors to Disney’s theme parks are Cari Shields of Temecula, California and Amber Boggs of Northridge, California. Ms. Shields and Ms. Boggs may be contacted through either of their attorneys: Mr. Dogali, who has prosecuted and defended a number of class actions around the country, and Gene Feldman, who operates a boutique disability law practice in L.A. Contact information for Mr. Dogali is available at http://www.forizs-dogali.com, and for Mr. Feldman at http://www.californiadisabilitylawfirm.com.
Shields v. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts is Case 2:10-cv-05810-DMG-FMO in United States District Court for the Central District of California. The parties’ February 10 report to the Court of the impasse in their settlement negotiations is available at: http://www.forizs-dogali.com/pdf/Disney.021012.Joint.Status.Report.of.Impasse.pdf. The 45-page certification order entered by the Court on June 29, 2011 is available at: http://www.forizs-dogali.com/pdf/Disney%20Certification%20Order.pdf.
For further information about the lawsuit, visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Disney-Class-Action-Lawsuit/197626193588939.