On June 4, 2014, GBDH, along with co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates and Disability Rights Legal Center, filed Ochoa, et al. v. the City of Long Beach, et al., Case No. 14-cv-04307 (C.D. Cal.), on behalf of persons with mobility disabilities who live in or visit the City of Long Beach. The case alleges that the City violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and California Government Code § 11135 by failing to construct accessible curb ramps at intersections and failing to maintain sidewalks in a condition that is useable by persons with mobility disabilities. On September 17, 2015, United States District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer granted class certification and appointed GBDH, Disability Rights Advocates, and Disability Rights Legal Center class counsel.
On April 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the Central District of California preliminarily approved a settlement that requires disability access barrier removal work valued at approximately $200 million. Under the settlement, the City of Long Beach will construct curb ramps at all locations where they are currently missing within 5 years. Existing curb ramps that are damaged and unusable by people with disabilities will be fixed over the next 20 years, backed by a budget of up to $50 million. In addition, the City will spend up to $125 million over 30 years to repair inaccessible sidewalks and crosswalks. The settlement also requires the City to allocate approximately $5 million over the first 10 years to fix pedestrian barriers specifically reported by people with mobility disabilities. These improvements will ensure that all residents of and visitors to Long Beach have equal access to the City’s pedestrian rights of way.