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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TX Attorney General Sues Tow Company For Not Being Accessible To Disabled Customers

Here's the KVUE story:

A story regarding a disabled man who had problems retrieving his towed truck has gotten the attention of the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. On Tuesday, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against J&J Towing company for not being accessible to disabled customers. In March, 23-year old Tyler Thomas' truck was towed from downtown Austin to J&J Towing in East Austin. Thomas uses a wheelchair. When the Texas State University student went to J&J Towing to get his truck back he couldn't reach the payment window because it was too high. There are also cement bricks stacked up on the ground under the payment window and Thomas couldn't get his wheelchair on top of them. "If they're going to tow vehicles with handicap placards they need to be handicap accessible," said Thomas. Last week after the news item caught the attention of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, investigators went out to J&J Towing to inspect the east Austin property. The owner of J&J Towing declined an on camera interview with KVUE but told us on the phone that he has yet to receive any paperwork or lawsuit from either state agency. The owner did grant KVUE an interview with the employee who dealt with Thomas the night in question. "In any case when a customer is handicapped or disabled in anyway we accommodate them the best we can and if that requires that I come outside then that's what I do," said Bettie Sharpnack, a J&J Towing employee. "It is a problem and if this story and this lawsuit will help fix that it'll make things a lot easier for people in chairs or people who just have difficulty getting around. I didn't set out to get anybody in trouble all I wanted, I just wanted the problem fixed. I'm not mad at J&J towing, I just think it should be fair for everybody," added Thomas. J&J Towing has 90 days to comply and if not faces fines of up to $5,000 a day for each day the business is not in compliance.

Here's the link to the previous story.

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