Judge orders Harrah’s to make shuttle ADA compliant
LAS VEGAS – A federal judge in Las Vegas has ordered Harrah’s Reno to make three shuttle buses accessible to wheelchair users by Jan. 14.
Harrah’s Entertainment Company spokeswoman Jan Jones said the company plans to modify the buses by the deadline.
The case stems from a November 1998 lawsuit by Ronald Ray Smith and the Disabled Rights Action Committee. The suit claims Harrah’s violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by operating the fixed-route buses without wheelchair lifts.
”Technically they’re right,” Jones said. ”We were in noncompliance, but we were always providing handicapped-approved transportation to our customers. We’d send a cab and pay for it.”
Smith, a Las Vegas resident, said he visited Harrah’s Reno in October 1998. Because he uses a wheelchair he says he was not able to board any of the three shuttle buses that continuously ran between the hotel and the airport.
The attorney representing Smith and the disabled rights groups said he next plans to seek damages for his clients.
In November 1998, a different federal judge granted an injunction in a similar case filed by Smith and another man against the Hard Rock Hotel. That judge ruled the free taxi service was not enough to meet ADA requirements and ordered the hotel to replace or modify its two buses.