The Committee Settles Lawsuit against Historic New York Restaurant and Boathouse

WASHINGTON, DC - The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs recently settled a lawsuit on behalf of Rosemary Ciotti against the city of New York and Central Park Boathouse LLC for failing to remove accessibility barriers to entrances and internal pathways of the historic Central Park Boathouse restaurant.

LoebThe complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, alleged that Defendants failed to comply with Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law by not requiring the Boathouse to remove architectural barriers preventing access to wheelchair users such as Ms. Ciotti.

Rosemary Ciotti, who uses a wheelchair, first visited Loeb Boathouse restaurant in 2014 with her family.  Upon arriving, Ms. Ciotti was not able to get into the lower main dining room because of steps leading down to the area.  Only after a steep movable metal ramp was placed there by staff was she able to proceed to the main dining room, but once there, she was unable to enter the patio because the only accessible doors were not in use and were blocked by obstacles, which staff members had to remove in order for Ms. Ciotti to enter and exit the patio area.  When Ms. Ciotti returned to the Boathouse in 2015, conditions had not improved, prompting the lawsuit that has now been resolved. 

“We are happy that this lawsuit regarding this landmark tourist attraction in New York City, and its only boathouse, has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction,” said Matthew Handley, Director of Litigation. “For Rosemary, this is a positive development not only for herself, but for others visiting the Boathouse from around the country and the world.”


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