Woodinville, Washington, Winery and Concert Venue Agrees to Make Modifications to Increase Accessibility
DOJ and Chateau Ste. Michelle Settle Americans with Disabilities Act Complaint
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery has agreed to make numerous improvements to its public spaces following an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint from a patron who uses a wheelchair, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. The patron complained to the U.S. Attorney’s Office after encountering physical barriers during her attendance at a summer concert at the venue. She also alleged that she was told she had to purchase more expensive concert tickets in order to obtain wheelchair accessible seating. In response, investigators and an outside architectural firm reviewed plans for the facility in June 2017 and made a site visit in October 2017, confirming barriers to accessibility. Although Chateau Ste. Michelle disputed the complainant’s ticketing claims, it has agreed to make numerous structural changes to its facilities by June 2019 and to conduct training for its public-facing employees to better serve patrons with disabilities.
“I commend Chateau Ste. Michelle for recognizing the need to correct barriers to equal access in its facilities, so that all those who want to visit the winery or enjoy a concert can do so,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. “Equal access is a bedrock of our society and seemingly simple things like heavy doors, loose carpets, or table heights can significantly limit access for people using mobility devices.”
Under the agreement, some of the improvements Chateau Ste. Michelle has agreed to make include: multiple changes to bathrooms at the winery to make them accessible; improvements to table and threshold heights in the tasting room; securing loose rugs which can impede assistive devices and pose a tripping hazard; increasing the width of aisles and of accessible seating areas in the amphitheater; increasing the number of accessible parking spaces, and improving the slope and paths from the parking spaces to the amphitheater. In addition, the winery has agreed to pay the original complainant $500 to settle the claims.
DOJ will monitor compliance for one year following the improvements. If no further issues arrive the matter will be closed.
The settlement was negotiated for the U.S. Attorney’s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Christina Fogg.