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ADA Lawsuit Leads to Changes at Some North Dakota Gas Stations

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

BISMARCK, N.D. – As thousands of North Dakotans 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, Iowa.

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."

Kum & Go operates 430 stores across North Dakota 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 - ND