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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GREGORY LASKY AND ADVOCATES FOR DISABLED AMERICANS (AFDA) VS. MOORESTOWN TOWNSHIP A-2742-10T3


GREGORY LASKY AND ADVOCATES FOR DISABLED AMERICANS
(AFDA) VS. MOORESTOWN TOWNSHIP
 A-2742-10T3

In upholding a jury verdict finding a public entity not liable under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101-12213, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49, for denying plaintiff, a paraplegic, access to its park, we held that the trial court properly charged the jury with governing legal principles.  One such principle is that for facilities preexisting 1992, the effective date of Title II's implementing regulations, a public entity may satisfy the ADA by adopting a variety of measures less costly than structural change, including assigning aides to assist disabled persons in accessing services.  Nor does a facility not accessible without assistance necessarily violate the LAD, which requires a "reasonable accommodation."  Thus, the question of whether the plaintiff was discriminated against by being denied "reasonable access" to the park was one for the jury to resolve. 05-11-12