Kyla Asbury Aug. 7, 2014, 11:56am

PITTSBURGH (Legal Newsline) - Another Americans with Disabilities Act class action lawsuit has been filed in Pittsburgh federal court, this one against Bob Evans Farms Inc.

The lawsuit claims that handicapped parking spaces at several of Bob Evans' Pittsburgh-area restaurants are too steep, making it difficult for those in wheelchairs.

The suit follows seven filed in late July by Sarah Heinzl.

Christopher Mielo claims Bob Evans violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its implementing regulations, in connection with accessibility barriers at various properties owned and managed by defendant, according to a complaint filed Aug. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Mielo, who has a mobility disability and dependent upon a wheelchair, claims the defendants are required to remove the access barriers on its properties.

"Therefore, on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, plaintiff seeks a declaration that Defendant’s facilities violate federal law as described and an injunction requiring Defendant to remove the identified access barriers so that Defendant’s facilities are fully accessible to, and independently usable by individuals with mobility disabilities, as required by the ADA," the complaint states.

The plaintiff visited the defendant’s retail property in Pittsburgh, and during his visit, he experienced unnecessary difficulty and risk due to excessively sloped surfaces within a purportedly accessible parking space, according to the suit.

Mielo claims he examined multiple retain locations in Pennsylvania, all of which were in violation of the ADA.

As a result of Defendant’s non-compliance with the ADA, the plaintiff's ability to access and use the defendant's facilities has been significantly impeded, according to the suit.

"Though defendant has centralized policies regarding the management and operation of its facilities, defendant has never had a plan or policy that is reasonably calculated to make its facilities fully accessible to, and independently usable by individuals with mobility disabilities," the complaint states.

Mielo claims as an individual with a mobility disability who is dependent upon a wheelchair, he has a keen interest in whether public accommodations have architectural barriers that impede full accessibility to those accommodations by individuals with mobility impairments.

The plaintiff intends to return to the defendant’s facilities to shop and to ascertain whether those facilities remain in violation of the ADA, according to the suit, however, so long as the numerous architectural barriers at the defendant’s facilities continue to exist, he will be deterred from returning to the defendant’s facilities.

Mielo is seeking class certification and compensatory damages. He is being represented by R. Bruce Carlson, Benjamin J. Sweet and Stephanie Goldin of Carlson Lynch Ltd. They also filed the seven July complaints.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:14-cv-01036

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