ADA attorney

BigG

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I am a hot shot truck driver who happens to be stuck in a wheelchair. Yesterday I was dispatched on a load by a broker. When I arrived at the yard to get loaded, a trench box, I was turned away because, " The load might fall on you." Mind you this is a 4' x 4' x 24' 6000 pounds of steel box setting in the center of my trailer. It would have been loaded by a fork lift. I would have been nowhere near the box until it was set on the trailer.

I have moved over 90 loads since August 2020 by myself. I used a helper for 2 years but they are not worth the money. Nobody has ever said a word to me about the wheelchair prior to yesterday. In fact most places are very helpful or at least neutral about the chair.

Since I am not an employee am I protected under the ADA laws? I was told that I would never be allowed in their yard because of the chair. How do I find a good law firm and not an ambulance chaser?
 

bearbait

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I feel for ya BigG, you have to wonder how people could make a decision like that, ain't no fixin' stupid. I wish I could tell you where to turn for help but I really have no idea. I hope you find the right help and go kick some ass. Good luck my friend.
 

Magicman

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I can't help with the legal issue, but I wholeheartedly support your effort. There are still "good folks" in this world and you Sir are one of them.
 
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Daren Todd

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You should be protected under those laws whether your an employee or not. The ADA is to protect those people with disabilities from being discriminated against.
 
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D2Cat

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BigG, here's a link to get you going. https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/ada-compliance It's information based in Texas but you should find the attorney general in the state it happened and contact them.

You are absolutely correct. that trench box isn't going to fall if they get it loaded and secured properly. And it sure isn't going to collapse!
 

GeoHorn

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Cut to the Chase and go DIRECTLY to the Dept of Justice for ADA Complaints:
 
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chim

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1. What would make a trench box fall on a wheelchair user rather than someone else?

2. The outcome for anyone being squashed by a 3 ton box would be the same, whether sitting or standing.

Go get 'em!
 
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xrocketengineer

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Since you are in Fla, I would suggest to contact Morgan & Morgan. I understand that you do not want an ambulance chaser, and they advertise that way, but they helped my son in Orlando a lot last year after he had broken pipes in the house. The issue was that the restoration company did unauthorized work (neither my son nor the insurance approved) and were billing my son over $20,000. M&M told my son that they could not represent him against the restoration co. because they were their client too. However, If they were going against the insurance, they could. In the end M&M told my son that the restoration co. did not have a leg to stand on since some Fla. regulation stipulated the maximum restoration cost that the insurance would pay with no prior authorization and that was exceeded by the co. on its own. The restoration co. rescinded the bill and the lien on the house. M & M did not charge my son a penny.
 

Poohbear

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Why not just tell your dispatcher no more loads there and work where you have no problems. I can understand your disabilities and desire to work but one incident, just go where your welcome
 

BigG

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Thank you all. When I tried to Google for info it was all ads or unrelated BS.
Why not just tell your dispatcher no more loads there and work where you have no problems. I can understand your disabilities and desire to work but one incident, just go where your welcome
I do not have a dispatcher. I am an owner operator. I have hauled for as many as 63 different brokers in a year. I have regular repeat customers. But sometimes I must try to fill my days. I can and do everything an able bodied truck driver does except for climbing in and out of things like a skid steer. Try flipping monster ramps on a gooseneck trailer from a wheelchair. BTDT

I could go back to UPS if they have another load and I had to stand out on the sidewalk and throw pebbles at the window because there was no entrance for a wheel chair. Or the Port of Tampa where I parked my truck off of the street but the security guard threatened to arrest me and tow my truck be because I parked in a flat level area and not across the street where the lot had large swales to promote drainage. Have you ever tried a wheelchair on sloping ground? Or go back to the window manufacturer with no wheelchair access.

Like I said before most of the companies have been good about working with me. The UPS dispatcher came out into the yard to do the paperwork. The office people in the port came out to help me as there was no access to the office. The head of the yard for the company even told the security guard to go pound sand.

When I built my warehouse I had to have handicapped parking, wide doors and bathrooms for the handicapped. I was not handicapped at the time. Why should I be punished for this company not obeying the laws?

When I owned the ceramic tile installation company I had a legless tile installer. That boy could climb from the front seat of his pick up to the chair and back before you could say, what the hell is going on. I had my doubts when I hired him but he did good work. He would sit flat on is butt and set tile on the concrete floor. Can you imagine sitting on concrete for 8 plus hours a day? He stayed around for several months. I would have done a great injustice if I would have said for him to move on.

I parked the truck where they needed to load it. I signed the BOL for the load. I put on the PPE and waited for the trench box to be loaded in a little piece of shade about 25 feet from the trailer. The manager tells me, " The load might fall on you." I can not load you.

I can not feed my family on disability benefits from the government. My bills have not stopped! Over 4 1/2 hours of driving 190 miles to come home empty handed. Orlando traffic is a bear this time of year.
 
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xrocketengineer

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Thank you all. When I tried to Google for info it was all ads or unrelated BS.


I do not have a dispatcher. I am an owner operator. I have haul for as many as 63 different brokers in a year. I have regular repeat customers. But sometimes I must try to fill my days. I can and do everything an able bodied truck driver does except for climbing in and out of things like a skid steer. Try flipping monster ramps on a gooseneck trailer from a wheelchair. BTDT

I could go back to UPS if they have another load and I had to stand out on the sidewalk and throw pebbles at the window because there was no entrance for a wheel chair. Or the Port of Tampa where I parked my truck off of the street but the security guard threatened to arrest me and tow my truck be because I parked in a flat level area and not across the street where the lot had large swales to promote drainage. Have you ever tried a wheelchair on sloping ground? Or go back to the window manufacturer with no wheelchair access.

Like I said before most of the companies have been good about working with me. The UPS dispatcher came out into the yard to do the paperwork. The office people in the port came out to help me as there was no access to the office. The head of the yard for the company even told the security guard to go pound sand.

When I built my warehouse I had to have handicapped parking, wide doors and bathrooms for the handicapped. I was not handicapped at the time. Why should I be punished for this company not obeying the laws?

When I owned the ceramic tile installation company I had a legless tile installer. That boy could climb from the front seat of his pick up to the chair and back before you could say, what the hell is going on. I had my doubts when I hired him but he did good work. He would sit flat on is butt and set tile on the concrete floor. Can you imagine sitting on concrete for 8 plus hours a day? He stayed around for several months. I would have done a great injustice if I would have said for him to move on.

I parked the truck where they needed to load it. I signed the BOL for the load. I put on the PPE and waited for the trench box to be loaded in a little piece of shade about 25 feet from the trailer. The manager tells me, " The load might fall on you." I can not load you.

I can not feed my family on disability benefits from the government. My bills have not stopped! Over 4 1/2 hours of driving 190 miles to come home empty handed. Orlando traffic is a bear this time of year.
You have your story right there. If I were you, I would give it a shot. I wish you the best of outcomes on this issue.

 

jimh406

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AFAIK, ADA doesn’t care if you are an employee or not. As others have noted, you should have the govt in your court. I would also suggest contacting your Senators/Representatives to improve the speed of the govt agencies.

Sorry that you have to bother with this effort.
 

Poohbear

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I don't think we have the whole story. I would like to hear the other side & see the security camera footage .
Sometimes being in business means not getting a job or it just falls thru. I was an owner of 2 business for 31 yrs and not every day was I rakeing it in. Some days it was all out go.
Luckily my time in a wheelchair was only temp but I understand to some degree your plight.
 
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BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
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I don't think we have the whole story. I would like to hear the other side & see the security camera footage .
Sometimes being in business means not getting a job or it just falls thru. I was an owner of 2 business for 31 yrs and not every day was I rakeing it in. Some days it was all out go.
Luckily my time in a wheelchair was only temp but I understand to some degree your plight.
I have moved loads for the same broker and the same company on the same sized truck and trailer before the wheelchair entered the picture. The manager of the store told me the reason I was being turned away was because I used crutches and a wheelchair. The broker broke off of the phone call with me so she could book another truck for my load.

I have a history before becoming disabled. I have a manger telling me that I am being denied an opportunity to work because of the crutches and wheelchair. I was told that I needed to get off the phone so the broker could book a truck for the same load. I was told I was not permitted to enter their yard as long as I was disabled. I have 90 plus loads under my belt that prove I am able to do the task that I was hired to do. I have over 1800 loads moved that prove that I know what I am capable of doing with my truck and trailer.
 

D2Cat

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BigG, you're getting sympathy from folks here. No one here has doubted your ability. Telling any further details is of little benefit. Contact the folks mentioned, then let us know the rest of the story.
 

BigG

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West Central,FL
BigG, you're getting sympathy from folks here. No one here has doubted your ability. Telling any further details is of little benefit. Contact the folks mentioned, then let us know the rest of the story.
Thank you.
I filed the complaint with the US Dept of Justice this morning. I will just have to wait.
 
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Bmyers

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Realize that ADA doesn't apply to every business and every location. There are requirements that have to be met. Government facilities have to be ADA compliant or able to make accommodations. Businesses of 14 or fewer employees that are not generally open to the public are not required to met the ADA requirements.

There is a lot more involved with the ADA law/regulations than just the simple disability. Title III business have to meet requirements that other businesses do not have to.

Those requirements can vary from State to State since some have stricter guidelines than the Federal law.

In addition, you will have to look at the court cases for district you the incident occurred in. The key term is 'reasonable accommodations'. Yet, as you noted you were not an employee, but a contractor. That opens up another area you get into.

With all that being said and not going into all the different rabbit holes, contact a lawyer from the area that the incident occurred and they should be able to tell you if you have a case or not.

Even though on the surface it appears cut and dry, it truly isn't.
 

ctfjr

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Good luck BigG - today there is no room for not making reasonable accommodation.