A week to the day after the Angels' April 6 home opener in Anaheim, a federal judge signed off on a class-action settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by a wheelchair-bound fan.
Angels Baseball has agreed to sell Diamond Club tickets, which are normally $150 each for the seats behind home plate at the Big A, for $50 apiece to those who can verify they require a wheelchair and their companions for the entire season.
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The tickets will be available through the Angels Ticket Office or Ticketmaster. As part of the settlement, the Angels will also extend in-seat food and beverage service to those occupying 32 wheelchairs and 32 companion seats on the Terrace Level of the Big A.
J. Paul Charlebois says he was denied Club Level seating at a July 2009 Angels game. The only two Club Level seats for fans in wheelchairs were already taken, Charlebois claims an usher told him, and the only way Charlebois could reach any other Club Level seat would be if an employee at the Big A carried him to it.
Chalebois declined that offer and instead sued Angels Baseball and the City of Anaheim, which owns the stadium, last year in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Chalebois' Los Angeles-based lawyer V. James DeSimone made it a class-action suit on behalf of all fans in wheelchairs. The Angels at the time noted plenty of seating for those fans and their companions was available on the Terrace Level and behind the outfield.
As part of the settlement, the Angels have agreed that any future price increases for the discounted wheelchair accessible seats in the Diamond Club will be equal to the weighted average of Club Level tickets, which are currently $50 each.