Disabled resident sues property owner over accessibility issues

By The Louisiana Record | Apr 28, 2015

An Orleans Parish woman brought a lawsuit against a company for alleged noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Melva Cordova filed against State/Tchoupitoulas LLC of New Orleans in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 30, citing violation of disability law in a 2014 matter.

Cordova, who is paraplegic, requires a wheelchair for mobility and is substantially impaired in several major life activities, according to her suit. Her residence at 5947 S. Front St. in New Orleans is owned by the defendant.

The plaintiff claims she has experienced great difficulty utilizing public areas of the apartment complex due to architectural barriers documented in the filing. The complaint states that on or about April 15, 2014, and Nov. 15, 2014, while attempting to navigate the entry ramp, Cordova fell out of her wheelchair. She states that she wants to continue to live at the property and claims that the defendant is in violation of disability law.

Specifically, the complaint states that the property lacks disabled parking and accessibility between the parking area and the common sidewalk; has gaps and cracks in the sidewalk, and has excessive sloping and no handrails on the entrance ramp. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminates against her in failing to make reasonable modifications.

Citing liability for negligence, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, the plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to compel the defendant to comply with the ADA; compensatory damages; plus attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.

Cordova is represented by Andrew Bizer of the Bizer Law Firm, New Orleans.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, case no. 2:15-cv-00962-MLCF-KWR.

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