In June 1998, DREDF and co-counsel filed a class action complaint against Shell Oil along with a proposed settlement to address Shell’s failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act at Shell service stations in cities across the United States. Shell and the three Northern California wheelchair users negotiated the agreement over a two year period without litigation and agreed to filing the complaint for procedural reasons.
The complaint arose from Shell’s failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at its service stations across the United States. Plaintiff John Greener notified DREDF about access issues at Shell after he nearly ran out of gas in search of a station with accessible pumps. He also noted that service station sidewalks were often obstructed by news racks or soda machines, and bathrooms were either inaccessible because of a lack of ramps and their doors sometimes were too narrow to enter,
As part of the settlement, Shell agreed to survey its 3,840 stations in nearly 1,800 U.S. cities and document all access problems. The company will modify the 6-inch-high sidewalks surrounding the service stations so that customers in wheelchairs can enter the buildings, which often house bathrooms, convenience stores and payment counters. Most of the stations will install fuel stations with pump handles and credit card scanners that are low enough to be used by people in wheelchairs. Shell agreed to a long list of additional measures including posting a toll-free telephone number for customer complaints, maintaining 36-inch aisles and charging disabled people self-service prices instead of full-service prices when they need assistance pumping gas.
Law Offices of Elaine B. Feingold
Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld