Lawsuit Against Hotel Companies Cites Disability Discrimination
“Hotels that choose to provide transportation services to their guests must include accessible transportation options,” said Timothy Fox, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) executive director, in a news release. “This has been the law under the ADA for more than 20 years.”
Such is the basis for three federal class-action lawsuits filed in January against three major hotel owner/operators. RLJ Lodging Trust, Hospitality Properties Trust and Ashford Hospitality Trust own more than 500 major U.S. hotels that include Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn and Embassy Suites, among others.
The CREEC and three individuals who use wheelchairs allege that these hotel companies discriminate against people with mobility disabilities by not providing accessible hotel shuttle transportation. Failure to provide transportation to all patrons violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, said Fox.
“Offering a service to nondisabled guests while excluding guests with disabilities from that service is the very definition of disability discrimination,” said Kevin Williams, legal program director of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and a plaintiff lawyer in the case.
“As it stands at these hotels, all other hotel guests can get shuttled around the city to events, the airport and downtown attractions, but we just get left at the hotel,” said Ruthee Goldkorn, a plaintiff in two of the cases. “I joined this lawsuit to make hotel transportation services accessible for everyone.”
The plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages bur rather hotel reform in the area of transportation. Read more about the cases at http://creeclaw.org/hotel-transportation/.