A wheelchair-reliant upstate New York resident has filed a proposed class action against Dollar General Corporation and parent outfit Dolgencorp of New York, Inc. in which she claims she could not navigate her way around the company’s Oneonta store as a result of unlawful physical impediments and obstacles. The lawsuit, citing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), claims the plaintiff encountered at the store:
Merchandise stacked on the floor and in aisles;
Hefty stocking carts left at the end of aisles that blocked or narrowed aisle pathways;
Obstructive cardboard merchandise displays; and
“Items arranged outside the store which blocked the curb ramp from the parking lot entrance.”
The lawsuit says advocacy group Disability Rights New York (DRNY) sent Dollar General a letter on the plaintiff’s behalf advising the store about the supposed accessibility barriers. In response, the defendants reportedly sent DRNY a letter affirming that “each aisle in the store [would be] both clear and accessible” and that accessibility policies would be reviewed by the store manager. Upon the plaintiff’s return to the store, the case goes on, the woman allegedly still could not navigate her wheelchair through its aisles.
Disability Rights New York visited Dollar General stores throughout New York between November 2017 and January 2018 and found physical impediments and obstacles at 83 locations, the complaint states. More specifically, “at least 75” New York Dollar General stores had aisles overflowing with merchandise, with displays placed on the floor blocking aisle pathways, and “at least 61” locations have aisles narrower than allowable under the ADA, according to the case.
“So long as [the defendants’] inadequate ADA compliance policies and practices remain in place, [the plaintiff] is unable to fully and safely patronize [the defendants’] Dollar General stores,” the case reads.