Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Marriott Singled Out in ADA Suit

Litigation surrounding the single-rider golf car issue isn't going to wait for the Department of Justice to issue a ruling.

A federal judge ruled Jan. 28 that Marriott International’s golf division is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act because it failed to provide “accessible” or “single-rider” golf cars to disabled persons at its managed properties, according to court documents.

Plaintiffs in the case are Lawrence Celano, Richard Thesing and William Hefferon, disabled golfers. They did not pursue monetary damages in the case, which really makes them look like the good guys in this case.

Marriott will end up paying several million dollars in legal fees to lose this case, and the company likely will be required to furnish the single-rider golf cars anyway.

But Marriott will not be the only ones. In a conversation with Golfdom, Thesing says he's going after other large management companies, too.

Should this be a battle? Doesn't golf have enough problems fighting the perception of exclusionary practices?


Anonymous said...

It does seem to be a bit much to see the golf industry working so hard to avoid bringing in new golfers and loyal golfers, who have lost their mobility, back into the game. The last I heard their money is just as good as that of those without mobility impairments. Maybe golf courses are flush and don't need the additional revenue?

Anonymous said...

On the other hand in my 25 years in golf course manangement I have never had a customer ask for a handicap accesible cart and we have never had a customer ask to bring his/her own cart.

For a $5,000+ investment there needs to be some kind of return on it to make it feasable.