Portland residents with disabilities sue city over homeless tents blocking sidewalks

Lawsuit claims Portland violated Americans with Disabilities Act

Disabled residents in Portland, Oregon, are suing the city over claims that officials have allowed sidewalks to become overrun with homeless camps, making walkways inaccessible.

The class action lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, accuses the city of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires accessible sidewalks.

The suit asks that a judge order Portland to clear sidewalks of homeless camps and tents while providing emergency shelters for all the homeless displaced as a result. 

Some of the suit's 10 plaintiffs, most of whom use a wheelchair cane or walkers, spoke during a news conference near City Hall on Wednesday.

PORTLAND RESIDENTS FLEE AS HOMELESS FILL NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS, CRIME SURGES: ‘INFINITE FINAL STRAWS’

Tents line the sidewalk on SW Clay St. in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 9, 2020.

Tents line the sidewalk on SW Clay St. in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

"The city has abandoned us and the homeless," said Barbara Jacobsen, a 62-year-old who uses an electric wheelchair and says that to avoid the tents, she often goes into the street with traffic.

Steve Jackson, a 47-year-old man who is blind, claimed that he often accidentally steps on people while navigating the crowded sidewalks. 

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Fox News Digital contacted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's office but did not immediately hear back. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.