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N. Miami Beach, FL - Disabled Jewish Mayor Plans To Sue Disney

Published on: December 1, 2009 07:52 PM
By:  CBS 4
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Rosner family Photo: WSVN TVRosner family Photo: WSVN TV

North Miami Beach, FL -What was supposed to be a fun filled vacation to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for North Miami Beach Mayor Myron Rosner and his family turned into a vacation he would never forget but for all the wrong reasons.

“You’re in Walt Disney Word and you bring your children there for fantasy and imagination I don’t think that Walt Disney himself would’ve thought this was a place where you would have your vacation turned into a nightmare,” said Rosner.

Mayor Myron Rosner, who was left a paraplegic after a construction accident, uses an iBOT 4000 to get around. In addition to acting as a standard wheelchair, the $30 thousand four-wheeled vehicle is also capable of balancing and moving on only two wheels. Rosner prefers to ride in the two-wheeled configuration because it allows him to be eye-level with his wife Sarah Zabel, who happens to be a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge.

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During a recent visit to Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom two Disney parks with his family, Rosner said he was harassed for more than a hour because of his iBot 4000 because in its two wheel configuration it resembled a Segway vehicle which have been banned from the parks for safety reasons.

“They were basically attacking me and telling me that I was on private property and Disney has a policy that you can not operate your chair on two wheels,” said Rosner.

Rosner said park employees demanded that he lower himself and use only the four wheel configuration in while in the park. Rosner said in Animal Kingdom on Sunday security personnel and Disney employees surrounded him and forced him to lower his chair into the four wheel configuration as his family walked through the park. They then followed him around to ensure that he did not change it back to the two wheeled configuration. Rosner said he and family left soon afterwards.

Disney spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez says iBOTs are permitted in the parks and admits there was some confusion with the employees.

Saying park employees harassed his family and made them feel unwelcome; Rosner reportedly plans to file a suit against Disney for what he calls an embarrassing experience. Even though Disney officials have apologized, Rosner is asking for a formal apology.


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Read Comments (27)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 01, 2009 at 10:10 PM Andrew Says:

Even though Disney officials have apologized, Rosner is asking for a formal apology. And, of course, he will also sue them as only money can bring back his dignity.

What have we become?

2

 Dec 01, 2009 at 09:43 PM U R rite Mr. Mayor Says:

Stand up for the rights of the handicap, and thank you Mr. Mayor for doing so.

3

 Dec 01, 2009 at 09:05 PM Midwestern Guy Says:

"Even though Disney officials have apologized, Rosner is asking for a formal apology."

I wonder how big the check is that comes with the "formal" apology?

4

 Dec 01, 2009 at 11:01 PM chusidwb Says:

Come on, this is the parks rule , obviosly its because of safety , and if he would had gotten hurt w/the 2 wheels he would have sued them as well . Yidden stop being such kovod and gelt fresers and use some seichel and common sense !

5

 Dec 01, 2009 at 11:18 PM rosner is the NMB community hero Says:

he stood up to all the corrupt polititicians he fired the corrupt city attny and is helping the yeshivas enlarge

may you be blessed Mr Mayor

6

 Dec 01, 2009 at 11:33 PM Anonymous Says:

They have a policy of allowing 4 wheel handicap assists. Allowing 2 wheel assists will open the door to allowing segway users to sue for discrimination. Use the four wheel configuration and shut up. They asked that he follow posted policy, that's all. I hope he sues and loses.

7

 Dec 02, 2009 at 12:08 AM Anonymous Says:

what would have been so terrible if he would follow the rules? his family would have enjoyed their vacation and he wouldn't look like a shmigegee looking to make a fuss over something stupid so he could make money and/or fame???

8

 Dec 02, 2009 at 12:14 AM rosner is a mench Says:

there is no reason for disney to be like that
they should use seichal and have let him enjoy the day in the park with his kids
shame on disney
they also dont hire jews as trainees because of shabbos

9

 Dec 02, 2009 at 12:32 AM Anonymous Says:

He should not be suing where there is no physical injury or property loss.

10

 Dec 02, 2009 at 12:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Had he been a chussid we would have all the MO tzadikim yell chillul hashem and why can't he live by the rules "dina d'malchusah".

11

 Dec 02, 2009 at 01:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Disney admitted that the employees made a mistake, since his wheel chair is government approved and must by law be permitted in the park. Their apology means nothing because a sincere apology would have included new tickets to the Disney World, since his trip there was destroyed. I'm sure he paid a lot of money for those wasted tickets. Disney blew it in the park, and they blew it with their "apology."

12

 Dec 02, 2009 at 02:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

They have a policy of allowing 4 wheel handicap assists. Allowing 2 wheel assists will open the door to allowing segway users to sue for discrimination. Use the four wheel configuration and shut up. They asked that he follow posted policy, that's all. I hope he sues and loses.

Read the article, IBots are allowed and they apologised for the confusion so your comment is incorrect. It is very understandable that they were upset by the way they were treated and perhaps a simple apology was not sufficient to take away, the hurt, dissappointment and unpleasant feelings.

"I hope he sues and loses" is really not a nice comment. If you believe you are correct then you should hope that he changes his mind and comes to the understanding of what happened, not sue and lose which will increase the pain...

13

 Dec 02, 2009 at 02:49 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm going to assume that posters 1,3, 4 and 6 aren't handicapped and have never met a handicapped person in their entire life - that's going to be my way of being dan l'kaf zechus them for their extremely condescending comments. Unless you are handicapped, or have close family member who is - you don't know what's involved, the idiocy that we have to put up with on many many occasions, and the emotional, mental, physical and yes, sometimes financial tolls this takes on us. (I could tell you horror story after horror story.) Whether he is right or wrong to request a formal apology or sue them - that's not our business to judge - we weren't there. Just please think for one second before you shoot your mouth off.

14

 Dec 02, 2009 at 03:48 AM Yonason Herschlag Says:

If I were running a park and responsible for the safety of the visitors, I also wouldn't allow such two wheeled chairs. And I would tell those that don't comply with the rules, that they are not welcome.

Being forced to comply with saftey rules is a "nightmare"?!! If so why did he go back there for a second trip? It appears that he's looking for confrontation and an excuse to fight.

And what's the point of this media publicity? Is he trying to promote himself for the next presidential elections? Or is he trying to avenge himself on Disneyland?

May G-d bless him with a refua shalemah.

15

 Dec 02, 2009 at 05:01 AM Anonymous Says:

for every little things people are asking money, seriously this country can be strange sometimes... why do americans always need to sue sue and sue.... when there can be agreement that the employees won't ask the disabled people in his case to lower the wheelchair and no problem in the future... good for everyone...
it's all about money i hate this corrupted world !

16

 Dec 02, 2009 at 05:23 AM MIESQ Says:

Outrageous! Though private property it is a public accomidation and subject to title III of ADA just like a Mall or Hotel.
Further humiliating Mr Rosener is just beyond description.Shame on the mouse!

17

 Dec 02, 2009 at 05:36 AM Anonymous Says:

I do not understand the big issue. The rules they have are for public safety.
By the way, Hakora Hatov, I toured Disney World with my Disabled child, the Disney courtesy knew no limits.

18

 Dec 02, 2009 at 07:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

Had he been a chussid we would have all the MO tzadikim yell chillul hashem and why can't he live by the rules "dina d'malchusah".

Actually, he is. The law in this country forbids discrimination on the bais of handicap in places of public accomodation, including theme parks like Disney. Disney should quickly settle. I'm sure the mayor isn't looking for money, but wants to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Disney could agree to provide more training to all staff about the rights of visitors and addressing the needs of the handicapped and perhaps throw in free passes for all children in a wheel chair (and their families) for a day.

19

 Dec 02, 2009 at 08:08 AM Anonymous Says:

its amazing that this happens every day and they dont sue, because there isnt a large bank account or a large corp. all one needs is a google search for Myron rosner and you will see that he has been under investigation for numerous illegal items. he recently gave himself and cronies a 400% raise in this troubled economy.

he is the worst thing that can happen to the City of north miami beach as well as the yidden who reside there.

source:miamiherald.com

20

 Dec 02, 2009 at 10:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

what would have been so terrible if he would follow the rules? his family would have enjoyed their vacation and he wouldn't look like a shmigegee looking to make a fuss over something stupid so he could make money and/or fame???

The handicapped also have feelings and wish to be treated with dignity which often enough means "seeing eye to eye" with everybody else

21

 Dec 02, 2009 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

its amazing that this happens every day and they dont sue, because there isnt a large bank account or a large corp. all one needs is a google search for Myron rosner and you will see that he has been under investigation for numerous illegal items. he recently gave himself and cronies a 400% raise in this troubled economy.

he is the worst thing that can happen to the City of north miami beach as well as the yidden who reside there.

source:miamiherald.com

According to the Miami Herald (which I actually DID look up)
* The mayor used to earn a symbolic $300 a month.
* For many many years, all council members earned $250 a month, plus all personal expenses and medical expenses (any private treatment, all insurance premiums, cars, cell phones, personal travel, etc etc).
* In 2008, these "extra expenses" were $281,507.
* The mayor is paraplegic, and his medical bills are $80,000 - which the city pays. But the mayor volunteered - let's stop all of this "symbolic pay plus all personal expenses" and simply give everyone a minimal salary and that's it.
* So the mayor's salary went from $3600 a year (yes, a year) to $40,000 - which alone saved tens of thousands annually, since he won't have 100% of his medical paid for anymore.

As the Herald states:
AFTER the salary raises (which were done by ALL seven council members, and not by the mayor himself) "The combined salaries for all seven council members, including the mayor, will be $250,000 a year." That's for ALL of them, including the Mayor. Even the "personal expenses" of the 7 city council members was more.

So is that a "raise", or is that a reduction which saves the taxpayers?

22

 Dec 02, 2009 at 12:26 PM Velvel Says:

Just what we need. Another Yid groveling for money in the south. Disney actually was correct in this case. The chair does look very strange and a bit dangerous on two wheels. He shouldn't get one thin dime for this case.

23

 Dec 02, 2009 at 02:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

I'm going to assume that posters 1,3, 4 and 6 aren't handicapped and have never met a handicapped person in their entire life - that's going to be my way of being dan l'kaf zechus them for their extremely condescending comments. Unless you are handicapped, or have close family member who is - you don't know what's involved, the idiocy that we have to put up with on many many occasions, and the emotional, mental, physical and yes, sometimes financial tolls this takes on us. (I could tell you horror story after horror story.) Whether he is right or wrong to request a formal apology or sue them - that's not our business to judge - we weren't there. Just please think for one second before you shoot your mouth off.

What does being involved with handicapped people have to do with people having the tendency to squeeze companies for millions of dollars? I'll be the first to admit that Disney should give them a refund, or maybe even another day or two for free. That's only reasonable given that they had a bad experience. But I'm simply suggesting that there's a strong possibility that this person will sue for a whole lot more. Does every inconvenience in life justify a lawsuit?

I am very sorry that you put up with so many difficulties. The question is how often people sue others for those difficulties, and whether those lawsuits poison an entire society that pays all kinds of hidden costs for everyone's lawsuits.

24

 Dec 02, 2009 at 04:31 PM Simple Jew Says:

Disney employees did not tell him he could not enter the park with the chair, what they said was that he could NOT cruise their grounds on two wheels. Had they done so he would have grounds to sue under the ADA. I believe Disney's apology was for the manner in which they conveyed their request not for its content. Lets reverss the situation, say Mr Rosner had been cruising on two wheels and a park employee bumped into him with a cart, and he tipped over, which would not have happened with the stability of 4 wheels, would he have sued knowing that the rule was 4 wheels only? You better believe it!
Its Disney ground it is not an ADA issue.

25

 Dec 02, 2009 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Segways are not recognized (nor designed) for use by diabled persons, that is why they are not allowed in the parks. The iBot is clearly a wheelchair, on two wheels or not. His lawsuit will serve to force Disney to retrain some personnel. Unfortunately, lawsuits are the only things that Disney understands. If they stand to lose money or get bad publicity, you can bet they will take steps to make sure it never happens again.

26

 Dec 02, 2009 at 07:35 PM MIESQ Says:

Reply to #24  
Simple Jew Says:

Disney employees did not tell him he could not enter the park with the chair, what they said was that he could NOT cruise their grounds on two wheels. Had they done so he would have grounds to sue under the ADA. I believe Disney's apology was for the manner in which they conveyed their request not for its content. Lets reverss the situation, say Mr Rosner had been cruising on two wheels and a park employee bumped into him with a cart, and he tipped over, which would not have happened with the stability of 4 wheels, would he have sued knowing that the rule was 4 wheels only? You better believe it!
Its Disney ground it is not an ADA issue.

This may be the which side of the table you sit on Plaintiff or Defendant . If using the chair on a two wheel configuration would provide a more "normal" mode of mobility would the least restrictive enviorment which along with reasonableness are the two elements of the ADA. Disney is private property but . . . Since it is available for the public to enter -anyone who has the price of ticket can enter should be no different than a theater or sports stadum.The purpose of ADA is the incorporation in design and accommidations those things reasonably necessary to include persons with diabilities. (I am both disabled and Attorney and am somewhat albeit Plaintiff side familar with these issues)
As to a Disney employee crashing in to a patron unless it was the most freakish of circumstances would be an action in tort at the very least.

27

 Dec 03, 2009 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

I think he did the right thing. If the law says he has a right to be there in his iBot and Disney screwed up and violated his rights, then he did the right thing to not back down. I am not disabled, baruch Hashem, and I am deeply grateful for my ability to get around in this world with comfort and ease. He is fighting for the rights of disabled people, and pushing Disney in this matter sets a precedent for other parks around the country.

And people - enough with your ill-informed opinions. Disney admitted they violated the law. Just because you say you understand why they didn't want him on two wheels does not mean you're right. The law is the law, like it or not. He has legal rights, end of story.

Having a paraplegic be able to go around the world on eye level with other adults is a huge leap forward for the disabled. Until now they have not only been dependent on others for help with so many things, but they've had to look up to see others as well. I think it's wonderful if they can feel more equal and not be looked down on - literally. If you've never been dependent on others, be grateful that you can't imagine how it feels. Adults don't like to feel like babies.

28

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