Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Serial ADA plaintiff settles with local Sky Zone trampoline facility over parking access dispute

Lawsuits

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 3, 2019


Sky Zone | Sky Zone Franchise Group

PHILADELPHIA – A wheelchair-bound woman who charged a Sky Zone trampoline park facility with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing adequate parking facilities has settled with the park.

On Oct. 10, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Savage announced a settlement had been reached in the case, though terms were not disclosed. The settlement announcement came less than three weeks before the deadline which the park had been stipulated with to respond to the litigation.

“The issues between the parties in this action having been settled, it is ordered that this action is dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the provisions of Rule 41.1(b) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure,” Savage said.

Jessica Slivak initially filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Aug. 24 against Philly Trampoline Parks (doing business as Sky Zone) of Chalfont, plus a pair of Huntingdon Valley corporate entities.

Slivak, 43, is confined to a wheelchair due a brittle bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta. The suit says she has three children, works as a speech language pathologist and serves on committees in her church.

Slivak owns and maintains a specially modified minivan with an automatic side ramp allowing her to enter and exit her vehicle, which is registered as a handicapped vehicle. Due to the vehicle’s side ramp, Slivak requires the use of van-accessible handicapped parking space, in order for her to have sufficient space for access to and from her vehicle.

According to the lawsuit, Sky Zone did not provide such parking when Slivak took her children there on April 4.

“Plaintiff has not returned to the property since, because of the difficulties and unnecessary risks she faces from the architectural barriers that have impeded her ability to independently bring her children to the Sky Zone. For instance, Section 208.2.4 of the 2010 ADA Standards requires ‘at least one’ parking space for every six ‘handicap accessible’ parking spaces a facility maintains to be designated as ‘van accessible,” the suit stated.

“The ADA further requires ‘van accessible’ spaces to be either 96 inches wide, with an adjacent 96-inch ‘access aisle,’ or 132 inches wide, with an adjacent 60-inch ‘access aisle.’ Despite these mandates, no parking spaces at defendants’ property are designated ‘van accessible,’ as required by the ADA. As a result of defendants’ failure to provide ‘van accessible’ spaces, with the requisite adjacent ‘access aisles,’ as required by the ADA, plaintiff cannot safely lower her van’s ramp, which is her only means of entry and exit from her vehicle.”

According to the lawsuit, there were further violations of the ADA. She alleged the parking spaces there lack signs that indicate which spaces are handicap-accessible and are five feet high.

Most dangerous, she said, is a curb lip at the end of an “access aisle” to the entrance of Sky Zone. Though Slivak said she pointed out the insufficiency of the parking lot to Sky Zone management, no corrections to the property have yet been made and concerns fell on deaf ears.

Moreover, Slivak sought class certification for any other persons who have been similarly-affected.

She has teamed with lawyer Arkady “Eric” Rayz of Kalikhman & Rayz in Huntingdon Valley to file 20 lawsuits against various companies in eastern Pennsylvania. Many of them have also already settled.

The plaintiff was represented by Arkady “Eric” Rayz of Kalikhman & Rayz in Huntingdon Valley, plus Gerald D. Wells III, Robert J. Gray and Stephen Edward Connolly of Connolly Wells & Gray, in King of Prussia.

The defendants were represented by Michael T. Hollister of Hollister Law, in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:18-cv-03625

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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