A T-Mobile Park ADA lawsuit was resurrected by an appeals court alleging that some baseball stadiums were against the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit, filed by a nonprofit disability law firm, is on behalf of four wheelchair users who participated in games in 2018 and is against the Mariners and the owner of the ballpark Washington State Major League Ballpark Public Facilities District (PFD). The complaint alleges that many features of T-Mobile Park violate federal and state laws, including accessible seating that is blocked or too far from the pitch, restricted access to different sections of the ballpark, and other issues. In the end, the scope was reduced to four complaints, and after a banking process, the court ruled in favor of the Mariners and the PFD.
The ninth circle has that decision rolled into one Opinion submitted yesterday after an objection that says so ADA guidelines for accessible stadiums was misapplied in the original decision. Specifically, the ADA guidelines state that wheelchair users must be able to see the field even when fans are standing in two rows in front of the disabled-accessible seats. While the original decision stated that wheelchair users could see the pitch even if the fans were in the front row in front of the disabled seats, the chairman did not consider in the original hearing whether they could see the pitch when the fans split in two Rows stood in front of the wheelchair area. (Another part of the statement had little to do with standard lines of sight and instead discussed whether the ADA accessibility guidelines are really guidelines or just suggestions and whether a stricter standard is warranted.) So back to the trial court.
Several MLB stadium operators have faced similar lawsuits. A very similar complaint has been made against the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority, with views often blocked and a broken wheelchair elevator in Oriole Park in Camden Yards mentioned in this lawsuit. The Chicago Cubs were also the subject of a complaint about ADA terms at Wrigley Field. with a lawsuit alleging that disabled seating options are fewer and of lower quality than they were prior to the start of the 1060 projectthat upgraded virtually every part of the ballpark.
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About Kevin Reichard
Kevin Reichard is the founder and editor of Ballpark Digest.