Industry News

Cubs fan sues owners over wheelchair seating

A fan of Major League Baseball franchise the Chicago Cubs is suing the team over changes that were made to the wheelchair-accessible seating at Wrigley Field.

Renovations left the right field and behind home plate without a wheelchair seating area, according to the lawsuit filed in December. Instead, the location is now a special area with a bar.

David F. Cerda, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and has used a wheelchair since he was 10 years old, previously enjoyed sitting in the right field bleachers in the wheelchair seating areas, the suit states.

His father, a Chicago attorney David A. Cerda, is representing his son in his case against the MLB club.

The renovation project started in 2014 and will not be fully finished until 2019, though Wrigley Field is currently in use for Cubs games.

“You had very nice accessible seating in the right field bleachers,” David A. Cerda said of their experience attending games before the renovations, according to The Chicago Sun Times. “David was very unhappy when they eliminated the seating in the right field bleachers.

“It was a wilful decision they made for more profit – they make more money out of an area with a bar.”

Wheelchair seating was reportedly moved farther away from the field, and when Cerda attended a 2017 game, he said he no longer had a clear view of the field when other fans attending the game were standing.

In the suit, Cerda claims that the placement of wheelchair seating areas at Wrigley Field after the renovations violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design requires “that wheelchair spaces be an integral part of the seating plan at Wrigley Field,” and that seating plans should provide spectators that use wheelchairs with choices of seating locations and view angles that are equivalent to or better than those available for other spectators.

The suit seeks to compel the ballpark to make wheelchair seating available in the right and left fields, to add wheelchair seating for lower box seats that is equal or better than previous seating that was available, and make front row wheelchair seating behind home plate available to fans with disabilities.