Three plaintiffs have put their names on a proposed class action lawsuit in which they allege wheelchair users who visit Camden Yards, the home ballpark of the Baltimore Orioles, are plagued by obstructed lines of sight in wheelchair-accessible seating areas and a continually malfunctioning lift needed to reach accessible seating areas elsewhere in the stadium.
“Concerns regarding wheelchair accessible seating were raised during the process of designing and building Camden Yards,” the lawsuit reads, “but, unfortunately, have never been adequately addressed.”
Filed against three operating entities and the Maryland Stadium Authority, the 13-page complaint alleges that while Camden Yards is “widely considered one of the best places in the country to watch a baseball game,” wheelchair users are forced to endure a much less rosy experience, particularly in seating areas next to the walkway patrons use to access the lower level of the stadium. Wheelchair users seated in those areas, according to the complaint, are blocked from seeing the field when fans in the seats immediately in front of them stand up.
Perhaps more harrowing than the allegedly obstructed seating is the lawsuit’s claim that each plaintiff became trapped on separate occasions in a Limited Use Limited Application (LULA) lift that wheelchair users must use to reach accessible seating in Section 242 of the ballpark. According to the complaint, the incidents involving the plaintiffs occurred after the defendants were already on notice that the LULA lift, installed at Camden Yards between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, had previously malfunctioned and posed an “unreasonable risk of entrapping” those who need to use it.
Since its filing, this lawsuit has been removed Baltimore County Circuit Court to federal court.