Disability Law

Lawyer who uses wheelchair sues hotel, says inaccessible restroom led to a difficult night

A California lawyer has filed a civil rights suit against a Miami Beach hotel that she says was unable to accommodate her wheelchair despite advertising itself as disabilities-compliant.

Jennifer Kern says she called the Days Inn and Suites Miami/North Beach Oceanfront before her February stay to make sure her room was accessible, the Daily Business Review (reg. req.) reports. But when she arrived late in the evening, she discovered she could not get her wheelchair into the bathroom. Even if she could access the bathroom, Kern says, the sink was too high, and there were no bars by the toilet or shower.

Kern says she asked to transfer to a room that could accommodate her, but she was told the room was “all we have.” Kern, an estate planning lawyer, is quadriplegic as a result of a car accident at age 19.

Kern was forced to use a trash can in the bedroom as a makeshift toilet, the story says. The suit, which claims violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act, was filed with the help of the Florida Justice Institute and Disability Rights Florida. A press release is here. She seeks damages and an injunction requiring Days Inn to makes its handicapped-accessible rooms comply with the appropriate architectural requirements.

Updated at 7:20 a.m. to correct typos.

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