Los Angeles ADA Violations

Ticketmaster and the Los Angeles Philharmonic are targets of a class-action suit, alleging various American with Disabilities Act and similar state code violations, filed in Los Angeles July 26.

The suit, filed by wheelchair user John Whitbread, claims TM, the orchestra association and Los Angeles County discriminate against disabled consumers by requiring them to contact a customer service representative to purchase tickets for designated accessible seats.

The suit claims that such delays, as opposed to direct online ticket purchase and distribution enjoyed by non-disabled customers, puts disabled users at a disadvantage and denies equal opportunity in ticket-buying.

The claim also cites Ticketmaster’s alleged “refusal to make reasonable modifications” to policies regarding direct online ticket purchases as they regard people with disabilities.

TM and Los Angeles County, which also operates the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, require disabled patrons who “want to purchase event tickets to engage in an uncertain process of sending an email to a customer service representative and waiting for a telephonic response, which is often delayed.”

Whitfield attempted to purchase a wheelchair-accessible seat and one companion seat at the Hollywood Bowl for the Oct. 11, 2011, show by Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger but was unable to purchase them online. According to the complaint, he was directed to provide his contact information and a message to customer service via an online form.

He received an automated email informing him to wait while suitable tickets were found. One hour and 20 minutes later, he received another email directing him to call a box office number. Nobody was available to take Whitfield’s call and he was directed via recording to leave another message. At that point, according to the court documents, Whitfield gave up and did not attend the concert.

The suit seeks injunctions requiring each defendant to remedy discriminatory practices and payment of legal and attorneys fees.