Los Angeles' disaster plans discriminate against people with disabilities, judge rules
The city of Los Angeles is unprepared to meet the needs of the disabled in the case of a disaster and is discriminating against them by failing to include the disabled in its emergency preparedness plans, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Siding with disability-rights groups who sued the city on behalf of an estimated 800,000 disabled L.A. residents, U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall found that Los Angeles doesn't have a plan to notify and evacuate the disabled or provide them with transportation and shelter in a disaster.
"Because of the city's failure to address their unique needs, individuals with disabilities are disproportionately vulnerable to harm in the event of an emergency or disaster," the judge wrote, noting that the city's own Department on Disability reported in 2008 that disabled residents are "at-risk for suffering and death in disproportionate numbers."
-- Victoria Kim