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Changes Under Way at Iowa Gas Stations After ADA Lawsuit

PHOTO: Kum & Go is making modifications at its 430 gas stations across 11 states to bring them into compliance with the American Disabilities Act following a lawsuit settlement. Photo credit: Bradley Gordon/Flickr.
PHOTO: Kum & Go is making modifications at its 430 gas stations across 11 states to bring them into compliance with the American Disabilities Act following a lawsuit settlement. Photo credit: Bradley Gordon/Flickr.
November 24, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa – As thousands of Iowans will soon be hitting roads for the holidays, they may notice changes happening at a well known chain of regional gas stations to make them accessible to all.

The modifications at the Kum & Go locations will bring the stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are the result of a class action lawsuit brought by Gary McDermott of Clinton.

McDermott is a Vietnam veteran who uses a wheelchair and spends many hours on the road while doing his advocacy work.

"Their parking was not correct, was not compliant with the ADA,” he explains. “Their access aisles with the parking were not compliant. Their ramps were not compliant.

“I had a hard time getting around in the stores. So we started to see a pattern here, that they were just ignoring the ADA."

Based in West Des Moines, Kum & Go operates 430 stores across Iowa and 10 other states.

Under the settlement, the company will bring 100 stores into compliance in the first year and then another 75 each year until the modifications have been made at all locations.

In addition to the fixes with the ramps, doors, aisles and the locations of fuel pump controls, McDermott says Kum & Go is going beyond what's called for in the ADA with the installation of fuel assistance calling devices.

"So a disabled driver who drives in doesn't have to honk or flash their lights and hope that they get service,” he says. “They press a button that can be reached by the driver's window and it rings a buzzer inside and then someone comes out and assists them with their refueling."


John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA