Saying they are unable to properly
use the parking lot, bathrooms and water fountains in their
community's clubhouse, two disabled people in Plantation have sued
their condominium association in federal court.
John Garon and Vatrice Rivera, who use wheelchairs, sued the
Lauderdale West Community Association No. 1 on March 4. The
association was served with the lawsuit Monday.
The plaintiffs have accused association members of ignoring their
requests to make the clubhouse more accessible for disabled people.
Because the clubhouse, in Central Plantation on Lauderdale West Drive,
is open to the public for political debates and some entertainment,
the building must comply with the federal Americans With Disabilities
Act, the lawsuit says.
The act compels owners of public buildings to make sure people who use
wheelchairs, walkers or canes can get around their property. About
2,000 people live in Lauderdale West.
"I've been living here a year, and I can't get around my own
clubhouse," said Garon, a quadriplegic.
Arline Marcus, the association's registered agent, said she had not
yet read the lawsuit and declined to comment on it. She said her
association's board of directors is in the process of hiring a new
"We just got served," she said. "We haven't even had a
chance to read through the complaint."
According to the lawsuit, Garon and Rivera have accused the
association of failing to make sure someone in a wheelchair can use
the parking spaces in front of the clubhouse. The spaces for disabled
drivers are smaller than 12 feet wide, the width required by federal
law, the suit said.
Another alleged problem is the bathrooms, where a lack of clear floor
space makes it impossible to roll a wheelchair through them, according
to the lawsuit.