John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with the Good News Restaurant and Bar (“Good News”) in Woodbury to resolve allegations that the restaurant was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with physical disabilities alleging that the restaurant did not meet the ADA’s requirements for accessibility. The restaurant is in the process of making the changes required by the settlement agreement, including ensuring the availability of accessible parking, creating an accessible entrance and providing an accessible entry route to the new accessible entrance, constructing an accessible restroom, increasing accessible seating within the restaurant, bar and patio area, and ensuring that the route to the patio area is accessible. Good News will continue to make improvements over the next eighteen months.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including restaurants, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the owners of Good News have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a collaborative manner to address the ADA issues complained of without the need for litigation.
“Our office is committed to enforcing the ADA, and we appreciate that the Good News Restaurant and Bar has agreed to take the steps outlined in the settlement agreement in order to greatly increase the accessibility of the restaurant,” said U.S. Attorney Durham.
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Connecticut