ONEONTA – Citing too-narrow aisles blocked by merchandise and ramps that are often blocked, Jennifer Rossman, a wheelchair user, has joined with Disability Rights New York to file a class action lawsuit against Dollar General for failing to make their New York stores accessible to people with mobility disabilities.
“When your stores are inaccessible, it is not just a bad business decision, it is against the law,” said Tim Clune, DRNY Exec. Dir.
According to the filings, on or about June 3, 2017, Rossman visited Dollar General Store #10652, (“Store #10652”) located at 76 Chestnut St. in Oneonta and found that she could not navigate in her wheelchair around the store because there was merchandise stacked on the floor and in the aisles, large stocking carts blocking aisles, cardboard merchandise displays blocking or narrowing the aisle pathway, and items arranged outside the store which blocked the curb ramp from the parking lot to the entrance.
On July 18, DRNY sent a letter to Dollar General advising them of Rossman’s complaint, and on Aug. 8, Dollar General assured them that the aisles would be cleared and that employees would be reminded not to let aisles become blocked while the store was opened. They also assured that the curb cut would be left clear to improve store accessibility.
However, according to the filings, Rossman went to the store again on or about Oct. 13 and found that she continued to encounter physical impediments and obstacles, and claims the store continues to be inaccessible. DRNY found similar problems in 75 other New York Dollar General stores.
“Without injunctive relief, Defendants continue to discriminate against Plaintiff and individuals similarly situated by denying individuals who use mobility devices equal access to Dollar General stores, in violation of the ADA and New York State law,” the complaint read.