Vornado Realty settles with N.Y. AG, will upgrade to ADA standards

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 9, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement on Tuesday with a commercial real estate company to ensure individuals with disabilities are provided equal access to its shopping center parking lots.

Vornado Realty Corporation owns 20 shopping centers in New York that are subject to the agreement. Vornado allegedly failed to follow the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act in its shopping centers by building steep ramps, neglecting to install handrails and constructing abrupt steps in the middle of a purported handicap-accessible route.

"Everyone in New York state deserves equal access to retail establishments, regardless of disability status, in order to enjoy a full and independent life--and because it's the law," Schneiderman said. "This agreement ensures that any barriers at Vornado's shopping centers will be removed, to the benefit of New Yorkers from all walks of life. I commend Vornado for agreeing to take the steps necessary to make their lots and garages fully accessible for all New Yorkers."

Under the terms of the settlement, Vornado agreed to upgrade its facilities so they comply with the design standards and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Vornado must also retain an ADA expert to survey its locations, adopt policies and training for employees about ADA requirements and ensure any new parking structure construction complies with federal and state accessibility laws. Vornado will pay $70,000 in fees and penalties to the state.

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