Ken Paxton

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Attorney General Abbott Charges J & J Towing With Violating State Disability Laws

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today filed an enforcement action charging Franklin Service Stations, Inc. with failing to make its commercial facility accessible to persons with disabilities. Franklin Service Stations does business in southeast Austin as J & J Towing.

J & J Towing operates a public vehicle storage facility on Linger Lane. State inspectors with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) discovered that the facility has large concrete blocks near the entrance that prevent persons who are mobility impaired from accessing its offices. TDLR inspectors also found that the defendant’s payment window is installed too high for mobility impaired persons to access. As a result, persons with disabilities do not have adequate access to the defendant’s business office and therefore do not have access to the facilities necessary to reclaim their towed vehicles.

The attorney general’s enforcement action cites a specific instance where an individual who has a mobility impairment encountered difficulty accessing the defendant’s payment window. The individual’s vehicle was towed to the defendant’s facility in March. When he attempted to reclaim his vehicle, concrete blocks prevented him from accessing the defendant’s office and the height of the payment window hindered his ability to obtain the release of his vehicle.

Today’s enforcement action charged Franklin Service Stations with violating the Elimination of Architectural Barriers Act and the Vehicle Storage Facility Act. The state is seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.