Seattle – The U.S. Department of Justice and the Port of Edmonds, Washington have resolved a complaint that the port violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it altered the port’s marina parking lot and did not has not provided suitable accessible parking spaces, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. As part of the settlement, the Port of Edmonds will pay a plaintiff $3,522 for discrimination and inability to use the marina.
“This resolution is a good reminder that federal law requires full and fair access. It’s not enough to simply designate a parking space with a blue accessible parking marker – that space must also have special features that will allow people with reduced mobility to have full access,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. . “Once our office got involved, the Port of Edmonds quickly reconfigured its spaces with appropriate space and access aisles so that the spaces were usable by those using assistive devices such as walkers or walkers. wheel chairs.”
According to the settlement agreement, in February 2021, the Port of Edmonds reconfigured its parking lot and constructed a dumpster area where there was accessible parking. Shortly after the work, the plaintiff notified the Port of Edmonds that the new configuration violated the ADA. However, the Port made no changes.
On August 12, 2021, a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s Office visited the north and south parking areas of the marina. The review found multiple ADA violations, including a lack of aisle space next to accessible parking spots and no accessible parking spots for pickup trucks. The U.S. Attorney’s Office found the parking area to be non-ADA compliant.
After receiving a Notice of Non-Compliance from the US Attorney’s Office, the Port of Edmonds quickly made changes. As of August 31, 2021, the Port has reconfigured its parking areas to include accessible spaces with access aisles and designated areas accessible to pickup trucks. Accessible parking spaces have been moved to shorten the distance to port facilities.
The port has agreed to appoint an ADA coordinator and to post signs throughout its facilities identifying the ADA coordinator and indicating how to contact them. The coordinator will be responsible for investigating any complaints about discrimination against people with disabilities.
The port will pay the complainant who was unable to use port facilities $3,522 and agrees in the settlement not to retaliate in any way against anyone who files a complaint about access to the port. ADA.
The Port of Edmonds will certify its compliance with the ADA to the United States Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor compliance for two years after the settlement. If no other problem occurs, the file will be closed.
The case was investigated and resolved by former Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Morehead and then Assistant United States Attorney Heather Costanzo.