Military-Focused Charity Seeks to Overturn Disney Segway Ban
and Transform Civil Rights Class Action Law
Washington, D.C.—In a case which seeks to transform all class action cases, a disability rights organization has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a national settlement which permanently prohibits personal Segway use at all Walt Disney Company parks and hotels and blocks any future law suits. The petition claims the parties to the settlement kept secret a national waiver of all state and local legal rights by all Segway users denying them notice and due process.
Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (DRAFT), a charitable organization which sponsors the Segs4Vets program and received the Spirit of Hope Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling affirming a settlement reached by the original plaintiffs and the Disney company. That settlement made permanent Disney’s Segway ban on all its U.S. properties, even by disabled people who rely upon the Segway as a primary assistive device. The settlement also prohibits anyone from bringing suit against the Disney Company on the issue in the future.
The U.S. Justice Department, Attorneys General from 23 states, a number of disability organizations and more than 100 individuals, agreed with DRAFT and objected to the settlement at a fairness hearing conducted at the federal court in Orlando, Fla. in 2009.
The court record shows that one of the original plaintiff lawyers felt coerced into the final Disney-proposal on the eve of the deadline, complaining Disney put forward a ``take it or leave it’’ deal … ``with a gun to our heads.’’
According to David Ferleger, DRAFT’s attorney, the case holds major implications for all class action lawsuits.
“If the Supreme Court hears our case, class action lawsuits will be transformed,’’ said Ferleger, a Philadelphia attorney and longtime civil rights litigator before the Supreme Court and other federal courts.`` Right now, someone who receives a $25 gift certificate in a broken toy class action settlement has a right to notice and to object to the dollar amount. However, a class member in a case involving a multi-million dollar injunction to change a state’s or a company’s policies has no right to notice of a settlement. That’s wrong and we seek to change those rules.’’.......More
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