Hampton Beach Casino Settles Lawsuit

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Wheelchair-bound Customer Could Not Purchase Ticket In 2006

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, November 13, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom settled a lawsuit brought against it by a nonprofit corporation that fights for the rights of the disabled.

Access with Success, a Massachusetts organization, filed the civil suit on behalf of all its members in federal court last year claiming the building is not fully handicapped accessible.

The Casino agreed in October to settle the case before trial by implementing recommendations to improve accessibility offered by an architect hired by the organization.

Details of the settlement were released earlier this month. According to the lawsuit, Access with Success claims the owners of the Hampton Beach Casino discriminated against one of its members because the building does not fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit was prompted after Dino N. Theodore, went to purchase tickets on Oct. 18, 2006 to the Queensryche concert at the Casino.

Theodore, who is paralyzed from the chest down, claims he could not enter the casino because it does not comply with ADA requirements.

He also claims he couldn't even purchase tickets because the outdoor box office was closed and the one on the second floor was not handicapped accessible.

While he pressed a button with a handicapped symbol on it and nobody responded.

As part of the agreement, the Casino will install handrails on the stairs into the middle arcade, create additional handicapped parking spaces, and replace all doorway thresholds that to do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Casino will also install an intercom system since the second level box office is not accessible to those in a wheelchair.

Other terms includes adding more signs, installing 23 accessible tables and modifying rest room areas to make them more handicapped compliant.

The agreement states the Casino will make the necessary changes prior to opening up its doors for the 2008 season.

If the terms of the agreement are not followed, Access with Success has the right to petition the court for $150 per day for every day that the deadline is not met.

They can also obtain injunctive relief from the court to compel compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement.

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