– March 26, 2019 –
Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. of the United States District Court of the Northern District of New York denied Dollar General’s motion to dismiss DRNY’s class action lawsuit for their failure to make its New York stores accessible to people with mobility disabilities. DRNY filed this lawsuit in May 2018 on behalf of Jennifer Rossman and others who are prevented from shopping in Dollar General’s stores because merchandise, boxes, displays and inventory carts block aisles and entry ways.
The Court rejected all of Dollar General’s arguments, including that these clear impediments were only “temporary” and therefore did not violate the ADA. Judge Scullin recognized that temporary barriers that exist frequently and are encountered often, violate the ADA in the same way as permanent barriers. These barriers prevent Ms. Rossman and others from entering and shopping at Dollar General stores.
“The court’s decision affirmed the ADA’s spirit and promise of accessibility to all. Oftentimes Dollar General is the only game in town, so they need to finally make their stores accessible to everyone in the community,” said Tim Clune, DRNY Exec. Dir.
DRNY is the designated independent non-profit Protection & Advocacy System empowered by Congress to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect and provide legal and non-legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in New York State. The Protection & Advocacy System was created by Congress as a direct result of the horrific conditions that were uncovered in the 1970's at New York’s Willowbrook State School.