The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that on Tuesday, October 6th, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Presnell threw out a lawsuit against Disney brought about by 3 disabled people who were upset that Walt Disney World would not let them ride their Segways in the parks.
The judge also rejected a proposed settlement from Disney which would have let Disney continue its policy of banning Segways in its parks, but would have allowed Disney to develop it's own 4 wheeled scooter for disabled guests to use instead. Disney also offered to pay the plaintiffs legal fees, and would give the plaintiffs each $4000 to be used towards a Disney vacation.
In rejecting the settlement and the original case, the judge has left an opening for others to file similar suits against the Disney parks.
The strange thing is, both Disney and disability advocate groups are both claiming victory.
While Disney is saying "This ruling is consistent with what we have advocated all along in this case - that we have appropriately balanced the need to maintain a safe environment for everyone while at the same time meeting our legal requirements to provide access to those with mobility impairments.", the Disability Rights Advocates for Technology group is celebrating because it sought to block the settlement.
The Disability Rights Advocates for Technology also made a statement saying "This is a victory for disability rights and we are heartened by the court’s findings. But Disney’s policy on Segways still stands. We call on the Walt Disney Company to voluntarily change its policy and recognize the rights of disabled people to use the assistive device which best meets their needs.’’
Even with the court case being dismissed, it sounds like we haven't heard the last of this matter.
To read this story, please go to : Orlando Sentinel - Judge throws out Segway lawsuit against Disney, but permits future suits on Tourism Central Florida