Disabled Segway riders who were barred from using the vehicles at Walt Disney theme parks may soon find themselves four-wheelin’ down Main Street under a proposed settlement the company reached with three disabled parkgoers who had sued for the right to use the personal transporters.
In their 2007 lawsuit, the three Segway owners argued that Disney violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by providing only sit-down wheelchairs and motorized scooters for disabled parkgoers. Disney denied any wrongdoing in the settlement, court documents showed.
Under the settlement, Disney won’t allow Segways in its parks because of the potential danger to other parkgoers because of the vehicles’ 12 mph speed capability. The company will instead develop its own four-wheeled ESV, an electrically powered vehicle designed for operation while standing. If the settlement is approved by a judge, Disney will make at least 15 of the vehicles available for parkgoers to rent at each of its U.S. parks starting in April 2009, court documents showed.
The proposed settlement provides each of the three plaintiffs with $4,000 toward a one-week stay at a Walt Disney World hotel and complimentary use of one of the new ESVs, the documents said.
And they all lived happily ever after.