Posted: Jun 14, 2012 2:32 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Updated: Jun 14, 2012 7:27 PM
A three story apartment complex in Paso Robles has been without a working elevator since April and the majority of the residents there are disabled. Some haven't been able to leave their homes since the elevator went down.
It's been almost three months since the elevator went down. More than six people live on the second floor that are restrained to wheel chairs and residents have continued to complain without receiving answers.
Residents we spoke with are furious, and many told us stories of missing doctors appointments and not being able to run everyday errands , and most of all, they say management continues to give them the run around.
"She has a cane, and she very carefully comes down the stairs," explained one resident.
"I don't know how much longer this can go on man!" said another.
"We've got people on my floor, there's six of them in wheel chairs, three or four of them have not been able to leave their apartments," one resident told us.
Roger Curry calls the apartment complex home but right now, he says it feels more like a prison.
"Its very wearing on me," he said. "I cant get down to get a hair cut. I cant get to the park. I can't get anywhere. I'm just stuck in the apartment here," said Curry.
WIthout the only elevator, there's only stair access.
"I have bladder cancer and I cant get to see my doctor," said Curry.
"I don't know if they were going up or going down but they fell and got a lot of owies," said another resident.
And thats just the start. San Luis Obispo Attorney James McKiernan says federal and state ADA laws are being broken.
"There are private citizen violations going on here," said McKiernan.
According to McKiernan, this situation should have been fixed long before now.
"When you have barred access in this case which is vital to their daily life, you're talking about an overnight cure, an overnight remedy, this is something that doesn't go on the drawing board, doesn't go to the planning department," said McKiernan.
Paso Robles city officials feel the same. That's why they've turned the case over to the Department of Justice for investigation.
And complaints from residents to management have fallen on deaf ears.
"The manager is never here, and we called the head office and they just gave us the run around," said one resident.
We contacted onsite management, who refused to speak on camera but said the elevator is fixed and they're just waiting for a final inspection.
Residents however have a different story.
"I was getting to the point where I was getting ready to call the mayor, or somebody, I just didn't know what to do," said Curry.
The manager of the complex said they have inspectors scheduled for Thursday and Friday this week, and attempts to reach the owner of the complex were unsuccessful.
According to the attorney we spoke with, the owner could face a fine of $50,000 for the first violation and up to $100,000 for further violations.
Next, the Department of Justice will investigate to find out what laws have been violated, final inspection is expected in the next two days and attorneys also told us that the owner could face additional law suits from residents.
We checked in with residents in the complex again Thursday, and the elevator was still broken.
A sign on the elevator door says management has received several phone calls about the problem, and the phone calls will not make the process move along any faster.
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