Los Angeles ADA Settlement

Photo of the City of Los Angeles

Willits v. City of Los Angeles


Settlement Website

 

If you have a mobility disability and have trouble using a sidewalk, intersection, corner, or crosswalk in the City of Los Angeles because the sidewalk, corner or crosswalk is damaged or in disrepair, or curb ramps are missing or inaccessible, you will be benefitted by the proposed class action settlement in Willits v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. CV 10-05782 CBM (RZx).  The Willits case is pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall presiding.

The proposed settlement will require the City to make its pedestrian facilities accessible, including its public sidewalks, crosswalks, and walkways.  To do this, the City will be required to:


  • spend approximately $1.37 billion over the next thirty (30) years to remove or fix access barriers, such as installing missing curb ramps, fixing curb ramps that are too steep, narrow, or have lips at the bottom, and repairing broken sidewalks and crosswalks.  The $1.37 billion will be spent at the rate of about $31 million per year on access improvements and repairs to the City’s pedestrian facilities.  This is approximately five times the amount of funds that the City typically spends on such access improvements at the present time;


  • have a system where it will respond quickly to requests made by class members for the removal of specific access barriers such as missing curb ramps, inaccessible curb ramps or repairs to inaccessible parts of the City’s public sidewalks or crosswalks;


  • do all new construction and alteration work on its pedestrian facilities in compliance with the federal and state accessibility standards including the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (this work will not be paid out of the $1.37 billion); and,


  • employ an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for its pedestrian facilities who will be an expert in accessibility for persons with mobility disabilities, and who will have responsibility and authority to oversee and coordinate the City’s access improvements pursuant to the settlement.


The City will also be required to perform many other measures to improve the accessibility of its Pedestrian Facilities over the next 30 years.  This is the largest disability access settlement in United States history. 

The Court-approved settlement notice and the full-length Settlement Agreement is available on this website under “Case Documents” and give more information about the requirements of the proposed settlement.  This case does not seek money damages for the class members, so the class members will not receive any money. 

The Court has approved the law firms of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns, LLP, Goldstein Borgen Dardarian & Ho, the Disability Rights Legal Center, and the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (“Class Counsel”) to represent the class.  Class Counsel will monitor the City’s activities over the next 30 years to make sure that the City complies with the settlement.  During that time, the implementation of the settlement will take place under the continuing jurisdiction and supervision of the federal district court.  If you have questions about the settlement, or seek further information, Class Counsel can be contacted using the information provided under “Contact Us.”
 
If you fit the definition of class member above, you are automatically a member of the class.  If you disagree with the settlement, you may object to it.  To object, you must either:  (1) appear at the Final Approval Hearing and tell the Court your objection; or (2) file a written objection with the Court and provide Class Counsel with a copy.  If you file a written objection, you do not have to come to the Final Approval Hearing to talk about it.  Written objections must be filed or postmarked by June 13, 2016.  For instructions, see the “Notice of Proposed Settlement” (available as set forth below). 

You cannot ask the Court to order a larger or different settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement.  If the Court denies approval, the settlement will not go forward and the lawsuit will continue.

UPDATE

The Court granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement on February 29, 2016. The District Court has continued the hearing on final approval of the proposed class settlement, Plaintiffs’ Motion for an Award of Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Expenses, and Plaintiffs’ Motion for Service Awards to August 2, 2016 at 11:00 a.m in Courtroom 2 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012-4701.   You may ask to appear at the hearing yourself, or through your own attorney if you hire one.  At the hearing, the Court will decide if the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.