Episode 6: Karantsalis v. City of Miami Springs, Florida


Peter Blanck
Host: Peter Blanck, JD, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute and University Professor at Syracuse University
Matthew W. Dietz, Esq.
Matthew W. Dietz, Esq.
Litigation Director – Disability Independence Group, Inc
Theodore D. Karantsalis
Theodore D. Karantsalis
Miami Springs resident, activist, retired librarian, local journalist, and advocate for people with disabilities

Case Summary

The case of Karantsalis v. City of Miami Springs raises many questions about statutes of limitations, progressive disability, and advocacy. In 2008, Theodore Karantsalis, sued the city of Miami Springs, Florida, alleging the city was in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 because its facilities and infrastructure were inaccessible to him due to his multiple sclerosis.  Later, he withdrew his lawsuit, believing he lacked constitutional standing because his symptoms at the time did not substantially limit his mobility. By 2019, Mr. Karantsalis’ multiple sclerosis had progressed and he required a wheelchair for mobility. He refiled his suit alleging the city and the city’s facilities, programs, and services were now inaccessible to him. The district court dismissed his suit, finding that Karantsalis was “barred by the four-year statute of limitations,” which was triggered before or during the 2008 suit when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The district court decision was reversed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, noting that Karantsalis did not have to sue until his disability resulted in a loss of mobility.

Join us for this episode of Disability Rights Today, as we welcome the Plaintiff-Appellate in this case, Theodore D. Karantsalis, and his attorney, Matthew Dietz. Our host is Dr. Peter Blanck, University Professor and Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. Our guests will discuss the arguments of the case, the case findings, and what this case means for people with disabilities and the ADA.