Bank loses appeal over wheelchair access case

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The Independent Online

The Royal Bank of Scotland has lost its appeal over a ruling that it failed to cater for the wheelchair access needs of a disabled teenager who was awarded £6,500 damages.

David Allen, 18, who has muscular dystrophy, took legal action after the bank failed to install wheelchair access at the Church Street branch in Sheffield, close to where he is studying creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

Judges at the Court of Appeal dismissed the bank's appeal yesterday and ordered it to carry out the necessary access work, which has been estimated as costing £200,000. They also ordered the bank to pay Mr Allen's legal costs and refused permission to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Lord Justice Wall said that Mr Allen could not access the counter facilities at the bank and a duty "plainly thereby arose" under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Sheffield Law Centre, the solicitors representing Mr Allen, said: "This was an important ruling – the first time a court had ever granted an injunction requiring building work under the Disability Discrimination Act."

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