Cases

The Sutton Trilogy

February 22, 1999
In the spring of 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a trio of critical cases involving the federal law definition of disability, which the ADA specifies is an "impairment" that "substantially limits" one or more "major life activities." DREDF participated in these cases by writing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Senators Harkin and Kennedy, former Senator Dole and Congressmen Hoyer and Owens, presenting arguments in favor of a broad interpretation of the ADA.

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Ingram v. Serendipity Land Yachts

August 6, 1998
In a class action lawsuit, passengers with mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs and scooters on Amtrak Thruway Bus services in California alleged that the defendants failed to comply with various state and federal laws concerning the safe transportation of bus passengers who use wheelchairs (including scooters) and the proper training of bus drivers to provide respectful and courteous service to passengers with disabilities.

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Greener v. Shell Oil

June 19, 1998
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.

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Bragdon v. Abbott

February 6, 1998
DREDF filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Senators Harkin, Jeffords and Kennedy, and Representatives Hoyer, Owens and Waxman in Abbott v. Bragdon. The central issue in this case was whether people who have HIV but appear asymptomatic are considered disabled and therefore protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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O’Hara v. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

October 20, 1999
In 1997, on behalf of a group of individuals with mobility, hearing and vision impairments, DREDF and co-counsel filed a class-action lawsuit against the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. The complaint alleged that the Coliseum failed to provide equitable access for people with disabilities. The parties settled in 1999.

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Emma C. v. Delaine Eastin, et al.

November 18, 1996
A class action lawsuit filed by eight students in 1996 on behalf of hundreds of children with disabilities in the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto, California demanded that the district and the California Department of Education comply with federal laws ensuring a "free appropriate public education" to all children with disabilities. After years of pre-trial litigation the Court first approved a Consent Decree in January 2000, and three years later an amended Consent Decree and a detailed plan for improvement, including a court-appointed monitor were put in place by Judge Thelton Henderson.

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Sacramento City Unified Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Rachel H.

June 13, 1994
The parents of Rachel H., a young girl with an intellectual disability, brought suit under the Individuals with Disabilities Act challenging the school district's refusal to educate their daughter full–time in the general education classroom. The District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in favor of Rachel and her parents, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed. DREDF represented Rachel and her family in this landmark victory for inclusive education.

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