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Press Release

LaFrance Hospitality Enters Agreement with U.S. Attorney’s Office to Address Lack of Accessible Hotel Showers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – LaFrance Hospitality, operator of 14 hotels in New England, has entered an agreement under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to resolve allegations that the showers in the accessible rooms of their New Bedford Marriott Fairfield hotel were inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

LaFrance Hospitality failed to install permanent shower seats on the wall in their roll-in showers at the New Bedford Marriott Fairfield as is required by the ADA. Instead, non-fixed seats were placed in each roll-in shower. When a woman with a mobility impairment used the non-fixed shower seat it collapsed, and the woman fell. The fall resulted in the woman requiring emergency services and an overnight stay at a local hospital for her injuries.

Under the agreement, LaFrance Hospitality will ensure all showers in accessible rooms in all 14 of its hotels meet ADA standards, including installation and positioning of shower seats, grab bars, and shower spray units. LaFrance Hospitality also will pay the woman $20,000 in compensation.

“Meeting the requirements of the ADA means individuals with mobility impairments should never have to question whether the hotel they are staying in will provide safe and accessible rooms,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “We commend LaFrance Hospitality for working cooperatively with us to meet the standards of the ADA moving forward.”

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Justice Department plays a central role in advancing the nation’s goal of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. The Justice Department will continue to use its enforcement and technical assistance tools to eliminate unlawful discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Dorchak of Lelling’s Civil Rights Unit.

The Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office was established in 2015 with the mission of enhancing federal civil rights enforcement. For more information on the Office’s civil rights efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/civil-rights.

Updated August 14, 2020

Topic
Civil Rights