United States Attorney Announces Settlement With The Fabco Discount Shoe Store For Barring A Wheelchair Bound Woman From Shopping In Its Brooklyn Branch Store
Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, today announced the settlement of a federal civil rights suit against the FABCO Shoe Store chain (“FABCO”), for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires places of public accommodation to make reasonable accommodations to allow people with disabilities to use and enjoy their facilities.
The settlement resolves claims made by Amal Mohamed, who is disabled and confined to a wheelchair. Mrs. Mohamed alleged that on May 1, 2013, she entered the FABCO branch located at 2171 86th Street in Brooklyn to buy shoes for herself and her children. She further alleged that a FABCO employee told her she was not permitted in the store because the tires on her motorized wheelchair might soil the store’s carpet. Mrs. Mohamed stated that the FABCO employee attempted to remove her physically from the store and stopped only when the employee discovered the wheelchair was too heavy to be moved.
Under the settlement, FABCO will pay $10,000 to Mrs. Mohamed. It will also train all of its store managers on their obligations and responsibilities under the ADA, and FABCO has agreed to post signs in each of its 51 stores welcoming people with disabilities. FABCO cooperated in the government’s investigation.
“Instead of treating Mrs. Mohammad like any other customer, FABCO violated her rights under the ADA by not allowing her to shop for herself and her children and attempting to remove her from the store,” stated U.S. Attorney Lynch. “This settlement serves notice that store owners who fail to respect the rights of individuals with disabilities will be held accountable for their actions.”
FABCO owns and operates 51 discount shoe stores throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, as well as in New Jersey and Westchester County.
Kevan Cleary, Senior Trial Counsel, handled this matter on behalf of the United States.