HOUSTON - Complaining a restaurant at which she frequently dined no longer accommodates the disabled, Oralia Diaz pursues legal action.
Diaz alleges in a lawsuit filed July 25 in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division that Doneraki Restaurants Inc. remodeled its Fulton establishment in Houston and elevated its entrance without including an access ramp.
Diaz, who was diagnosed with polio as a toddler, is wheelchair-bound, court papers show.
According to the original petition, the plaintiff went to the eatery to meet a date one evening in spring 2011 when she and an attendant hired to assist her "saw that the entrance was elevated about eight inches from the sidewalk and there was no access ramp over the step."
The suit states the entrance used to be at a level which Diaz could negotiate, adding she "was saddened that the Fulton Doneraki had become less accessible since her last visit."
It further explains that Diaz attempted numerous times to talk to the restaurant's general manager about making the venue more accessible, however, her phone calls and correspondence were ignored.
A niece of the plaintiff was planning to throw a graduation party at the restaurant two months ago, but a relative in charge of making arrangements learned that the room "was not accessible due to a step about 3.5 inches high," the suit says.
The complaint adds the defendant again refused to accommodate Diaz and points out its restrooms were difficult for people in wheelchairs to use and the parking lot lacked a handicap space.
Attorney Amin Alehashem with Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin is representing Diaz.
Case No. 4:12-cv-2238