Posted: July 7, 2017 12:46 p.m. --- Updated: July 29, 2017 11:24 a.m.
By: Andy Slater
(Update: A confidential settlement was reached in this case)
A blind man is taking the Miami Heat to federal court.
Andres Gomez claims the Heat, the AmericanAirlines Arena, and their website are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gomez says that he was unable to go watch games and concerts and as a result suffered “particularized harm and an injury in fact.”
The lawsuit was pointed out on Twitter by South Florida sports-law attorney, Daniel Wallach.
According to the details of the lawsuit, Gomez “had called the AmericanAirlines Arena to inquire about the schedule of upcoming basketball games and arts performances which would be showing over the next few months and to inquire as to ticket prices." An arena representative failed to help Gomez and instead sent him to the website, the lawsuit says.
Once on the arena’s website, Gomez’s attorney claims his client could not properly navigate it to find information that he needed.
Gomez uses special software that allows him to read website, but says it did not work on the arena’s page.
As a result of not being able to communicate with either the website or the Arena, Gomez claims that he felt “segregation, rejection, and isolation.”
Gomez says that he still wants to be able to access the AmericanAirlines Arena and continues to suffer as a result of what he’s calling an ADA violation.
The lawsuit is asking that the arena update its website and put signage to help disabled people navigate it more easily.
As for money, Gomez is asking for attorney’s fees, court costs, and that “the court award damages in an amount to be determined at trial.”
A Miami Heat spokesman says the team has no comment on the lawsuit.
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(Photo: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau)