Disney Facing More ADA Suits
A court battle over disability access to Disney theme parks has been renewed, with 28 new separate lawsuits being filed in Orlando, Fla. against the entertainment company.
The lawsuits were previously filed in a joint format. But a judge had ruled earlier in November that the lawsuits should be filed separately because circumstances surrounding each plaintiff were unique.
The suits allege that Disney’s Disability Access Service, which began in 2013, discriminates against those with disabilities because it no longer allows them to skip lines. Disney started the DAS program after ending its previous program, the Guest Assistance Card, because the older program was abused by wealthy people who hired guests with disabilities to help them skip lines.
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A quick reading of a few of the lawsuit complaints shows they are mostly the same, at 50 pages long, with only a few paragraphs spelling out unique circumstances. Plaintiffs are identified by initials only.
One of the suits alleges that a six-year-old Nevada boy with autism, J.T.G., suffered numerous “meltdowns” on his first trip to Disneyland under the new access program in 2013. According to the suit, the boy’s blood pressure rose so high that he had nosebleeds, forcing his mother to take him back to their hotel.
Disney said in a statement earlier this year the company has “an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests.” It stated that Disney complies with “all ADA requirements” and believes the suits are “without merit.”
The DAS program is used at Disneyland in California and at Walt Disney World in Orlando, but Disney has argued the cases should be heard in Florida because people who developed the new program are based there.