Disney Victorious in Segway Lawsuit


For those of you following the ongoing litigation in the Segway-users vs. Disney brouhaha, (Ault v. Walt Disney World Co), here’s another update.

As you may recall, it all began when a group of Segway-users filed suit against Disney for banning Segways in their parks. A preliminary settlement was negotiated and approved; and a hearing was held to obtain final approval of the settlement.

That’s when the excrement hit the rotary oscillating device.

Several groups objected to the settlement, which they claimed only benefited the named plaintiffs, and not the larger group of disabled Segway-users. Since there were so many groups who wanted to comment on the issue, another hearing date was set. At that hearing the judge took it all under advisement. And we’ve been waiting for a decision ever since.

Are you with me so far?

Well, last week U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell voided the earlier decision granting preliminary approval to the settlement and threw out the case. So in effect, this action upholds Disney’s ban on Segways, and finds that they are not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the judge, the plaintiffs were unable to prove that Segways were “necessary” for them to access the park; as they could all use scooters or wheelchairs, which are permitted in the park.

“Although some individuals may, with good reason, not want to use those devices and instead prefer to use a Segway, that preference — standing alone — is not essential to accessing Disney’s parks,” Presnell wrote in his opinion.

Have we heard the end of this? Probably not. It will be interesting to see what the new ADAAG says about Segways. I have no idea how that will go; but for now, it appears that the mouse is victorious.