Tony Harris is a paraparetic (someone with partial paralysis of lower extremities). He uses a wheelchair for mobility. While visiting his brother, 600 miles away from his home, Harris joined the local Costco Warehouse Club.
He alleged he was unable to find a vacant handicapped parking space at Costco so he had to park his car in a general parking space at some distance from the store. Harris claimed difficulty navigating his wheelchair from the distant parking space.
Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.
Harris also alleged Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations for inadequate restroom access, an ATM card reader at the checkout counter that was too high, and inaccessible gasoline pumps. He sued Costco for damages due to the alleged ADA violations.
If you were the judge, would you rule Costco must provide handicapped parking spaces at all times for handicapped customers?
The judge said no!
The evidence shows Costco provides an adequate number of handicapped parking spaces, based on the store size, the judge began. The ADA does not require there be a vacant handicapped parking space vacant at all times for a handicapped customer, he continued.
The ADA regulations do not require that ATM card readers in a store, or that gas pumps, be handicapped accessible, the judge explained. There was no evidence Costco employees failed to assist Harris, he noted.
Because Costco had an adequate number of handicapped parking spaces near the store entrance, and Harris failed to provide adequate evidence of the other alleged ADA violations, summary judgment is granted for Costco and the case is dismissed, the judge ruled.
Based on the 2005 U.S. District Court decision in Harris v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 389 Fed.Supp.2d 1244.
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