Aug. 27, 2004 – Last week a federal judge rejected class action status to Lane v. Tennessee, deciding that the individuals could file separate cases, each involving access to county courts for the disabled. US District Judge Todd Campbell argued that six plaintiffs would not be able to accurately represent Tennessee's estimated 250,000 disabled who might have grievances against physically inaccessible courthouses.
The Associated Press reports that William Brown, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, was not phased by the decision. "It doesn't say George Lane and the other five plaintiffs can't bring these claims in their own name," Brown said of the decision. "We're still 100 percent committed to the proposition that the courthouses in this state should be made accessible."
In May the US Supreme Court ruled that George Lane and Beverly Jones, who both had trouble accessing courtrooms in Tennessee, could sue the state for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.