PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– A settlement agreement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Hampton Inn & Suites in Grand Prairie was reached on Thursday after the hotel allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A DOJ news release confirms they reached an agreement with Mark Peterson and Petersen Hospitality LLC that will require the hotel to train its staff and provide equal service to guests with disabilities.
An ADA complaint had previously been filed alleging that when a guest with a disability had reserved an accessible room, the Hampton Inn provided a room that was not accessible as it lacked bathroom grab bars.
The complaint also alleged that the hotel said no physically accessible rooms were available, canceled the reservation, and told the guest they could not accept “liability” for the person.
This left the out-of-town complainant stranded with nowhere to stay.
The complaint launched an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.
The ADA requires hotels provide accommodations for guests with disabilities, including honoring reservations and providing accessible rooms.
“For many people with disabilities, the decision to travel is unfortunately fraught with uncertainty over many of life’s most basic necessities, such as whether they will have a place to sleep at night or be able to use the bathroom,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua I. Grant for the Central District of Illinois.
He continued, “The law protects people with disabilities who are traveling and requires that hotels provide equal access to their rooms and facilities. We appreciate the hotel’s prompt remedial action and encourage all hotels in the Central District of Illinois to train their staff regarding the ADA’s requirements.”
Hampton Inn & Suites at Grand Prairie did not admit to violating the ADA but agreed to a monetary payment to the parent of the complainant.