Structured Negotiation Delivers Landmark Results in Portland Sidewalk Case

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This post is about the City of Portland Oregon. The city agreed to install thousands of curb ramps to make city streets and sidewalks safer for disabled people. The worked with people in Portland who use wheelchairs and their lawyers. Instead of fighting in a lawsuit, the parties used Structured Negotiation. Structured Negotiation helps people resolve legal problems without litigation. Congratulations to the city and the disabled advocates and their lawyers.

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On June 5, the city of Portland, Oregon issued a press release titled “Major milestone reached in making Portland’s streets and sidewalks more accessible.” The announcement was reached as a result of a sweeping settlement negotiated between the city and residents who use wheelchairs. Under the agreement, Portland will install and upgrade approximately 18,000 curb ramps over the next twelve years.

The agreement was reached in Structured Negotiation.

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The settlement was achieved collaboratively through Structured Negotiation, without active litigation. Instead, the parties were able to focus their efforts on problem-solving, and building a relationship of trust and open communication between representatives of the City and the community of people with mobility disabilities that will last for many years to come. Linda Dardarian, partner, Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, counsel for claimants

Through Structured Negotiation, we were able to achieve a settlement that benefited both the class and the city without the cost or expense of litigation.Tim Fox, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, counsel for claimants

As discussed in my book, Structured Negotiation, A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, Structured Negotiation is a flexible process that can be used with or without a lawsuit on file. In the Portland case, after the parties had worked out the details of the settlement, a lawsuit was filed and the final agreement was in the form of a consent decree approved by the court.

The Law Office of Lainey Feingold congratulations everyone involved in the Portland accessible sidewalk case. The case is yet another example of the win-win results that can happen in appropriate cases when parties make the effort to resolve legal claims without the conflict, run away costs, and broken relationships that are too often the result of litigation.

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