NOTE: WALK THIS WAY: DO PUBLIC SIDEWALKS QUALIFY AS SERVICES, PROGRAMS, OR ACTIVITIES UNDER TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT? Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2011 Fordham Law Review
Fordham Law Review

NOTE: WALK THIS WAY: DO PUBLIC SIDEWALKS QUALIFY AS SERVICES, PROGRAMS, OR ACTIVITIES UNDER TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT?

April, 2011

Fordham Law Review

79 Fordham L. Rev. 2259

Author

Sarah Jones*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
In November 2004, Elizabeth "Lisi" Bansen died when an SUV hit her as she traveled in her wheelchair from the corner store to her home. 1 Bansen was relegated to the street because the sidewalk was not wheelchair accessible. 2 The sidewalk near Bansen's home was cracked and "choked with weeds," and there was no curb ramp at the intersection where she was killed. 3 In 2007, a jury found the city of St. Louis liable for Bansen's death due to the city's "failure to maintain safe and usable sidewalks." 4 Although the city had already spent $ 7.5 million to install curb ramps at ninety percent of the city's intersections, some areas of the city had simply "fallen through the cracks." 5

Lisi Bansen's story is not unique. In 2006, Josefina Quinones sued the city of Chula Vista for $ 10 million after her husband, James A. Quinones, was struck and killed by a car. 6 James, who used an electric wheelchair, was traveling in the street because there was no ramp to get onto the sidewalk. 7 In 1998, Ohio resident Kelly Dillery was charged with child endangerment after a motorist complained about Dillery riding her wheelchair in the street with her four-year-old daughter in her lap. 8 Dillery argued that the sidewalks were inaccessible and eventually sued the city of Sandusky under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 9

As these stories indicate, the accessibility of sidewalks and curbs has ...
 
 
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