More controversial is a case in which a blind, partially-deaf subway rider stepped off the platform, thinking he was in front of the doors, and discovered that he'd fallen between two trains. The whole thing's a huge mess for a variety of reasons, and not just because he suffered a broken leg and nerve damage: the Plaintiff claims that he was denied paratransit because they wanted him to regularly re-apply (in case, y'know, his blindness just got better all of a sudden). Also, his lawyers say, the accident could have been prevented by putting up barriers to prevent folks from falling between trains.

Muni doesn't actually have to put up barriers; since the stations were built so long ago, they're exempt from that particular ADA requirement. One anonymous source claims that Muni tried to install barriers (remember those soft-hit posts that showed up in Van Ness for a while?) but they didn't meet state standards for some reason, and had to come down.

Plaintiff's asking for $100,000. If we were Muni, figuring out some kind of barrier that could stay up would be a relatively high priority.

Disclosure: the plaintiff in the 2005 case was represented by a friend of ours, but we didn't know that until we started researching this post, and we haven't discussed it with him.