Courtroom of Attraction overturns judgment in favor of Seattle Mariners in ADA case – Enterprise Insurance

The Seattle Mariners baseball team and the operator of its stadium may have failed to adequately follow state guidelines for spectators using wheelchairs under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991, a federal appeals court said Wednesday as it overturned a lower court ruling.

Plaintiffs alleged in a lawsuit filed in Seattle U.S. District Court that viewers using wheelchairs at T-Mobile Park, where the Mariners play, had inadequate sight lines under the ADA, such as the 1996 Department of Justice guidelines for accessible stadiums set forth judgment of the 9th San Francisco Court of Appeals in Clark Landis et al. v. Washington State Major League Ballpark Public Agencies District et al.

The district court ruled the defendants complied with the ADA, but was overturned by a three-person appeals court in a ruling that focused on the people facing wheelchair users.

The district court did not correctly apply the standard in accessible stadiums “because it only analyzed the requirement that a person using a wheelchair must be able to see the playing area between the heads and over the shoulders of the people standing in front of them in the row ". , "it said.

The lower court was wrong, "by not analyzing the additional requirement that a person who uses a wheelchair can see the playing area over the heads of the person who is two rows in front of it," it says in the judgment.

The verdict comes to the conclusion: "At this point we do not yet comment on the final question – whether the sightlines of the stadium for spectators in wheelchairs are sufficient to satisfy the ADA," it said.

"In order to properly examine this question, a full analysis of accessible stadium requirements is required," it said as it overturned the district court's judgment and dismissed the case for further trial.

Conrad Reynoldson, founder and chief attorney of Seattle-based Washington Civil & Disability Advocate, a Seattle-based nonprofit that served as one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said in a statement: “We are pleased with the verdict from the ninth circle. Everyone deserves an accessible and inclusive experience.

“Disabled baseball fans just want a comparable view of the game when enjoying America's pastime. We hope that this decision will lead to positive changes in the future. "

The defendant's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

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