Saturday, June 24, 2006

Careful ADA Title III Opinion in E.D. Cal.

In Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports, 2006 WL 1686511 (E.D. Cal., June 19, 2006), Judge Karlton issued a very careful opinion granting in part and denying in part the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. The case was a garden-variety Title III accessibility case, in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant's store was, in various ways, not "readily accessible" to people with disabilities. Judge Karlton held that the plaintiff could challenge not just those barriers to access that were known at the time of the complaint, but also barriers first identified in discovery (so long as they would be barriers to him). The court then went through each of the challenged barriers and granted summary judgment to plaintiff on some, to the defendant on others, and to neither party on still others. Some of the plaintiff's claims might have seemed trivial to other judges, but Judge Karlton took them and the law seriously and even granted summary judgment to the plaintiff on some of them. This is really a model of how courts should address Title III cases.


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