Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin and Disability Rights Advocates Settle Landmark Sidewalk Accessibility Case in New York City

March 19, 2019

Sheppard Mullin is pleased to announce that a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a landmark settlement to make New York City’s sidewalks accessible to people with disabilities. The firm has been working on this case on a pro bono basis since 2014 as co-counsel with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), one of the leading nonprofit disability rights legal centers in the nation.

“We’ve worked long and hard to get this outstanding result,” said Dan Brown, Sheppard Mullin partner and chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “There is still much to do to make New York City truly accessible for people with disabilities and safe for all, but this is great step forward and I am very proud of what we have all accomplished.”

Background on the Case

The settlement stems from and resolves two separate class action lawsuits: the first suit was filed in 1994, soon after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), on behalf of United Spinal Association, n/k/a Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association. Initially resolved in 2002, the City agreed to spend a significant amount of money each year installing curb ramps throughout the City. In 2014, a new suit was brought by DRA and Sheppard Mullin on behalf of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) and several individuals alleging the vast majority of curb ramps in lower Manhattan did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Click here to read DRA’s press release.