Todd Williamson vs Villa Marina Marketplace
Posted By V. James DeSimone Law || 29-May-2018
Villa Marina Marketplace violates disability rights laws, lawsuit says
An elevator that’s been broken for more than a year limits mall access for longtime AMC Theatre employee with cerebral palsy and others with disabilities.
LOS ANGELES, May 30, 2018 – For an employee with cerebral palsy, a broken elevator is much more than a simple inconvenience. For Todd Williamson, it means never being able to leave his second-floor workplace to take breaks or get lunch.
Williamson loves his job as a greeter, usher, and ticket taker for AMC Theatres, a company he’s been with for 18 years. But in April 2017, shortly after he transferred to AMC’s popular Marina del Rey location in Villa Marina Marketplace, the elevator next to the theater broke down.
In November of 2017, Williamson wrote to the mall’s owners explaining how the situation presented significant hardship to a disabled person. Using a nearby escalator is too dangerous for Williamson, 47, who uses a walker.
Owners of the $100 million mall directed him to use other elevators until the broken elevator is fixed. Fourteen months after it broke down, it’s still broken. Today, his only way to get to work is to make long, slow treks from the mall’s other elevators – which are often out of order too. Because his disability means he walks slowly, the longer distances keep Williamson from taking work breaks away from the theater because there’s not enough time to get to an elevator and back without being late.
After waiting for more than a year for an elevator repair that never came, Williamson on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the mall’s owners for violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the California Disabled Persons Act, and for negligence by violating those laws and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“The mall’s refusal to fix the broken elevators forces Mr. Williamson to stay on the second floor throughout his entire work shift,” Los Angeles civil rights attorney V. James DeSimone said. “And he’s not alone. Other employees, shoppers and movie-goers with disabilities experience the same extreme difficulty in having to walk from one end of the mall to the other just to reach a functioning elevator.”
Spend a few minutes walking with Williamson at the mall in the videos below.
Los Angeles attorney V. James DeSimone has dedicated his law career to providing vigorous and ethical representation to achieve justice for those whose civil and constitutional rights are violated. He is co-counseling this case with Lawrence Lallande of Lallande Law PLC, of Long Beach, CA.