Berkeley Law Firm Wins Big Disabled Suit

In a major victory for disabled people throughout California, CalTrans has agreed to spend $1.1 billion over the next 30 years to render sidewalks and crosswalks accessible to the disabled. According to the Los Angeles Times, the agreement stems from a class action lawsuit filed by the Berkeley nonprofit law firm Disability Rights Advocates, whose attorneys contended that miles of sidewalks and other public rights of way lack wheelchair ramps and other amenities that make it possible for disabled people to navigate them. As a result, wheelchair users are often forced to ride in the streets, which obviously isn’t ideal. Disability rights activists cheered the settlement as a major breakthrough, but groups like the League for California Cities aren’t terribly happy about it. They worry that similar lawsuits will force their member cities to fix their own sidewalks, and they’re broke.

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