Non-Compliant Parking Spaces Block Access, Action Alleges
7-27-2019 04:16:00

SAN DIEGO (CN) – A patient will require constant care for the remainder of her life due to injuries caused by Kaiser’s non-compliant disability parking spaces, according to an action filed in Central San Diego County Superior Court.

Margaret Elizabeth Coon sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., doing business as Kaiser Permanente, for personal injury and denial of civil rights by denial of equal access of a person with disabilities, under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Prior to the subject incident on June 22, 2017, Margaret Coon was 87 years old and in reasonably good health, living in her own home. She had a disabled placard due to limited walking stamina, lower limb pain from excess red blood cells, espisodic vertigo, and chronic asthma, according to the action.

Since the incident, plaintiff Margaret has lived in an acute care hospital, a convalescent hospital and a board and care facility for assistance with basic daily functioning, the suit states. “Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that such injuries have resulted in and will continue to result in permanent impairment of her prior ability to live alone,” the complaint claims.

On the day of the incident, Margaret Coon attempted to visit defendant Kaiser’s Oceanside Medical Offices for a medical appointment. She found a parking space designated for those with disabilities near the front entrance of the facility. However the walking surface of the space was not compliant with regulations, in that the surface was not firm and stable, the slope exceeded 2.1% in all directions with uneven cross-slopes and changes in levels, and it included a badly placed off-center wheel stop that blocked access to the width of the nearby accessible path, the action alleges.

When plaintiff Margaret encountered the barriers, she tripped, fell and was injured, the suit states. Her injuries included a hip fracture that required a total hip replacement. “The consequences of being caused to trip and fall have greatly degraded the quality of plaintiff’s life, activities and capacity to care for herself for the entire remainder of her foreseeable life expectancy,” according to the action.

The lack of compliant spaces for those with disabilities continues to prevent Margaret Coon from having access to defendant Kaiser’s health facility, the complaint claims. “Despite being warned in writing of the barriers prior to filing of [the] action and the ADA being in effect for nearly two decades,” Kaiser has refused to remove the barriers, the complaint charges.

Margaret Coon seeks injunctive relief, compelling Kaiser to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, actual and general damages, medical and related expenses, loss of earnings, and legal costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by Michael A. Taibi of Taibi & Associates, APC, in San Diego, California.