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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wins Substantial Dismissal of ADA Class Action

Paul, Weiss secured a major victory for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in a putative class action pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In Forsee v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a group of disability rights organizations and individuals with disabilities alleged that the MTA violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and local antidiscrimination laws through its alleged practice of renovating certain subway stations—and specifically replacing staircases at certain stations—without also installing elevators in those stations to make them accessible to individuals with disabilities. According to the complaint, the MTA is required to install elevators in those circumstances without regard for cost or technical feasibility considerations. Shortly after the complaint was filed, the plaintiffs informed the court that their complaint challenged every subway station renovation dating back nearly a half-century to 1973, when the Rehabilitation Act was passed.

Earlier this year, the MTA moved for judgment on the pleadings, seeking dismissal of the complaint to the extent it purported to challenge any renovations at subway stations completed prior to May 5, 2016, before the applicable three-year limitations period. Judge Edgardo Ramos granted the MTA’s motion. Relying heavily on the MTA’s arguments, Judge Ramos held that the plaintiffs’ claims accrued for each station when the relevant renovation was completed. Judge Ramos further held that neither the continuing wrong doctrine nor the repeated violations doctrine applied to toll the plaintiffs’ claims. Accordingly, Judge Ramos ruled that the claims were time-barred to the extent they were based on subway stations whose renovations were completed prior to May 5, 2016.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partners Allan Arffa and Gregory Laufer.

March 31, 2020

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