A proposed class action claims NVR, Inc., which does business as Ryan Homes, has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to make its sales offices accessible to individuals with disabilities.
According to the lawsuit, the home builder’s sales offices constitute places of public accommodation, which, under the ADA, must be “readily accessible to, and independently usable by,” individuals with disabilities. Despite the ADA’s requirements, Ryan Homes, the suit says, has denied the plaintiff and others covered by the law “full and equal enjoyment” of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations at its sales offices by failing to provide an accessible route to their entrances.
The plaintiff, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, says he began searching for a new home in early 2020 and planned to visit the defendant’s Middlesex Crossing development in Valencia, Pennsylvania. Before visiting the development, the plaintiff called ahead to confirm that the defendant would be able to accommodate him, the suit relays.
According to the case, however, the plaintiff found that there was no accessible route to Ryan Homes’ sales office, which was located in the garage of one of the defendant’s model homes. The route to the sales office led through the house’s front door, which was obstructed by steps, and the garage door was inoperable, the lawsuit states. The plaintiff says he was forced to meet with the defendant’s sales agent outside in the rain and left feeling “angry and humiliated.”
Upon visiting Ryan Homes’ Twin Oaks development in Sarver, Pennsylvania, the plaintiff found that the sales office was once again inaccessible, and the man was forced to meet with a sales agent on the sidewalk, according to the case. After bringing the problem to the attention of the defendant’s division manager, the plaintiff was allegedly told via text message that the company’s “corporate policy meets ADA requirements by having accessible models within a reasonable distance.” Per the case, the plaintiff was informed that future meetings would be held in Ryan Homes’ Weatherburn Heights development in Mars, Pennsylvania, roughly 12 miles from the Twin Oaks development.
The lawsuit argues that the plaintiff’s desire for an accessible sales office is “neither outlandish nor unreasonable,” and relays that one of the defendant’s competitors also has sales offices in the garages of its model homes but builds an accessible entrance into the garage door. Moreover, the suit avers that Ryan Homes could easily make its sales offices accessible by adding one of its standard upgrades, a side garage entrance, with an accessible route.
As the suit tells it, Ryan Homes, as “one of the largest residential developers in the United States,” is “uncommonly well situated” to remedy its inaccessible sales offices given it designs and builds them itself. The suit claims the accessibility barriers experienced by the plaintiff were not isolated occurrences but rather a systemic issue stemming from the defendant’s “centralized design, construction, alteration, maintenance and operational policies.”
The lawsuit argues that the plaintiff and other disabled individuals will be “significantly impeded” from accessing the defendants’ goods and services absent a change in Ryan Homes’ corporate policies and practices. The plaintiff adds that he intends to visit the defendant’s facilities in the future as he ultimately decided to purchase a home in Ryan Homes’ Twin Oaks development.
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