For Immediate Release — September 11, 1998
Law Office of Elaine B. Feingold
Lainey Feingold (510) 848-8125
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc.
Jan Garrett (510) 644-0154 x241
Rosen, Bien & Asaro, LLP
Andrea Asaro (415) 433-6830
Judge Signs National Consent Decree Reached in Americans With Disabilities Act Lawsuit:
ADA Compliance Ensured at Over 3,000 Shell Gas Stations Nationwide
San Francisco, California — United States District Court Judge Charles Legge today granted final approval to one of the most comprehensive agreements to date under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In issuing his Order, Judge Legge referred to the Consent Decree as a remarkable and outstanding achievement. The agreement with Equilon Enterprises LLC, and Shell Oil Products Company, two companies that now own, lease and/or operate over 3,000 Shell gas stations across the country, and plaintiffs in a national class action lawsuit, will substantially improve access for wheelchair users and other people with mobility disabilities across the country.
Under the terms of this agreement, which was tentatively approved earlier this summer, Shell will conduct accessibility surveys at thousands of its gas stations across the country and make significant improvements to all areas of the stations where needed. Shell will also provide training and implement policies for the benefit of their customers with disabilities.
The plaintiffs in the case were represented by the Berkeley, California-based Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF), Berkeley civil rights lawyer Lainey Feingold, and San Francisco civil rights lawyer Andrea Asaro of Rosen, Bien & Asaro. According to Feingold, “today’s action by federal Judge Charles Legge means that Shell will now begin to implement one of the most comprehensive ADA compliance plans ever voluntarily agreed to by a major American company.” Jan Garrett of DREDF, a national non-profit disability rights organization, agreed: “Americans love their cars, and the freedom to travel has always been part of our national identity. This agreement means that thousands of people with disabilities will be able to travel more independently nationwide.”