Lane v. State of Tennessee

Lane, et al. v. State of Tennessee is a landmark disability access case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, in which Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho co-counseled with William J. Brown, a solo practitioner in Cleveland, Tennessee and attorneys Martha M. Lafferty and Gary D. Housepian of the Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee (formerly Tennessee Protection & Advocacy, Inc.).  In 1998, Plaintiffs George Lane and Beverly Jones filed a lawsuit alleging that the State of Tennessee and twenty-five Tennessee counties were in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to ensure that the State’s judicial program is accessible to individuals with disabilities.  This case resulted in a historic victory at the United States Supreme Court in May 2004, affirming the right of persons with disabilities to seek damages from the government when it denies them access to the government’s programs, services and activities.  The parties to the case reached a settlement that required the State of Tennessee to adopt a policy to ensure that individuals with all types of disabilities have access to the State’s judicial program, and required 25 counties to take actions to ensure that the State’s court program, as conducted in their county, is accessible to people with mobility disabilities.  A majority of the twenty-five Defendant Counties have been making physical modifications to their current courthouses or building new courthouses to ensure accessibility.