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September 4, 2008
A federal judge ruled that the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to airports and airlines, including Northwest Airlines, in a lawsuit that includes a Roseville man.
U.S. District Judge George C. Steeh on Tuesday rejected a motion by Northwest, which sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed in April by five Michigan residents with disabilities, including Martin Drouillard, 61, a wheelchair user, through attorney Richard Bernstein.
The lawsuit claims that Northwest and the Wayne County Airport Authority violated the ADA and other laws requiring them to provide adequate accommodations for those with disabilities.
The plaintiffs complain the defendants fail to provide boarding assistance, special seating, stowage for wheelchairs, accessible bathrooms, and transportation to and from parking areas, among other allegations.
NWA also charges higher fees to the disabled, damages wheelchairs, and forces disabled people to wait in line for long periods, the lawsuit says.
Steeh says in his 13-page opinion that releasing the defendants of the duties “would leave the door open for acts of discrimination that could not be remedied.”
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