If you are disabled and cannot use a sidewalk in the City of Los Angeles because a curb ramp or curb cut is missing or inaccessible, a proposed class action settlement may affect your rights.
A settlement has been proposed in two class action lawsuits involving curb ramps and curb cuts that provide access to sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways located in the City of Los Angeles (the “City”). The lawsuits that will be resolved by the proposed settlement are known as Saundra Carter, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. BC363305, and Nicole Fahmie v. City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. BC381773. Both of these lawsuits are pending in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.
The Court has preliminarily approved the proposed settlement, authorized this notice, and will next have a hearing to decide whether to finally approve the settlement. The Court’s order granting preliminary approval of the proposed settlement can be view here: Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement. A copy of the settlement agreement can be viewed here: Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims.
Summary information regarding the settlement, including important dates, is set forth below. English and Spanish versions of the Court approved detailed notice can be found here:
- Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action Lawsuit in Carter/Fahmie v. City of Los Angeles. Download in English.
- Aviso de Conciliacion Propuesta de Demanda Colectiva en Carter/Fahmie v. City of Los Angeles. Descargar en Español.
You may be a member of the Settlement Class if you have a Disability (as that term is defined in the Settlement Agreement) and you (i) accessed or attempted to access a sidewalk or other pedestrian pathway located in the City but were impaired or unable to do so due to (a) the lack of a curb ramp or curb cut, or (b) a curb ramp or curb cut that was damaged, deficient, in need of repair, or otherwise in a condition not suitable or sufficient for use, or (ii) allege that you would have accessed or attempted to access a sidewalk or other pedestrian pathway located in the City but for allegedly being denied such access due to (a) the lack of a curb ramp or curb cut, or (b) a curb ramp or curb cut that was damaged, deficient, in need of repair, or otherwise in a condition not suitable or sufficient for use.
If the Court approves the proposed settlement, it will enter a judgment that will be binding on all Settlement Class Members, who will be deemed to have agreed to the settlement and will not be able to opt out of the Settlement Class. Settlement Class Members will not be able to sue the City in the future for claims that they may have against the City for injunctive or other non-monetary relief related to the accessibility of any sidewalk or other pedestrian facility located in the City due to (i) the lack of a curb ramp or curb cut, or (ii) a curb ramp or curb cut that is or was damaged, deficient, in need of repair, or otherwise in a condition not suitable or sufficient for use.
WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?
The proposed settlement will require the City to spend approximately $1.37 billion over the next 30 years to fix or remove access barriers in its pedestrian facilities by implementing various measures, including, among other things, installing and fixing curb ramps and repairing broken sidewalks. The City will also perform various other measures to improve the accessibility of its pedestrian facilities to individuals with mobility disabilities over the next 30 years, such as creating an access request program, creating an access and construction database, and hiring an ADA Coordinator.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?
The Court has scheduled a hearing on March 2, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., at Department 310 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, located at 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider any request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses as well as the request for the award of special service payment to the Class Representatives. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement.
If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you disagree with the settlement, you may file a written objection to the settlement. Written objections must be filed and postmarked by January 14, 2017. The detailed Notice of Settlement explains how to object.
OBTAINING MORE INFORMATION.
For more information about the settlement, including a copy of the Settlement Agreement, the detailed Notice of Settlement, the Court’s order granting preliminary approval, and Class Counsel’s application for an award of attorney’s fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, you may: (i) visit www.aswtlawyers.com/CurbCutSettlement or www.lacity.org; (ii) call (310) 844-9696; or (iii) write to Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP, 6701 Center Drive West, 14th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90045. If you are visually impaired, these documents are available upon request in screen-readable format.