Dozens of San Diegans living with disabilities have recently filed a complaint against the city and three major e-scooter companies. According to this new lawsuit, the companies Lime, Bird, and Razor have been illegally allowing their e-scooters on public sidewalks.
Those behind this new complaint want class action certification for the three e-scooter companies listed above and the City of San Diego. Plaintiffs also want the e-scooter startups to pay for illegally allowing customers to ride and park on taxpayer-funded sidewalks.
Many San Diegans living with visual and/or physical disabilities say they fear walking on sidewalks due to the increase of e-scooters on sidewalks. The advocacy group Disability Rights California (DRC), which helped write this complaint, claims San Diego officials are willfully ignoring major protections guaranteed to disabled people.
In particular, the DRC points out California Civil Code § 54(a), which requires people with disabilities have access to safe sidewalks and walkways. Lawyers at the DRC also claim the defendants are in violation of key portions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ultimate hope of this legal challenge is to deter e-scooter riders from using sidewalks as a riding lane. Plaintiffs would also like e-scooters to be barred from operating in potentially hazardous locations such as pedestrian crosswalks, curbside ramps, and transit stops.
The latest statistics suggest there are about 150,000 San Diegans living with either visual or mobility handicaps. It’s believed 100,000 residents have mobility issues and 50,000 have vision problems, but experts say there could be crossover between the two groups.
This isn’t the first time e-scooter companies have faced legal challenges on this issue. Indeed, almost ten California residents who were injured by e-scooters have already filed lawsuits against Bird and Lime.
In addition to the DRC, Neil Dymott Attorneys will be representing the disabled residents in this case.
The companies Bird, Lime, and Razor are all headquartered in California. Spokespeople from these companies and from the San Diego City Attorney’s Office have yet to respond to this new complaint.