California Macy's Settles Suit

.c The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Macy's agreed to widen entrances and aisles in its California stores and to pay nearly $3 million to settle a 5-year-old lawsuit by disabled customers.

The settlement, which affects more than 70 California stores, sets standards for entrances, rest rooms, fitting rooms, counter tops and aisles between departments.

``Macy's has made a real commitment to improving access for people with disabilities throughout its stores in California,'' Larry Paradis, executive director of Disability Rights Advocates in Oakland, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jeremiah Sullivan, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's West Inc., said the company hoped the ``settlement will improve the shopping experience for Macy's customers with disabilities.''

Chief U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel gave preliminary approval to the settlement announced Tuesday and scheduled a final hearing for Feb. 25.

AP-NY-12-19-01 1055EST