On October 1, 1997, two individuals who use wheelchairs for mobility and an advocacy group, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. They claimed that the design of Taco Bell's restaurants did not ...
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On October 1, 1997, two individuals who use wheelchairs for mobility and an advocacy group, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. They claimed that the design of Taco Bell's restaurants did not conform with the minimum standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A. Specifically, they claimed that Taco Bell's queue aisles were too narrow to navigate in a wheelchair or scooter, the counters were too high, and the staff was unprepared to assist disabled people. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief and damages pursuant to the state anti-discrimination act.
On February 3, 1999, the court certified the class of "All Colorado residents with disabilities who use wheelchairs or electric scooters for mobility who, beginning on the date two years prior to the filing of the Class Action Complaint (October 1, 1997), were discriminated against on the basis of disability by Taco Bell's failure to have queue lines that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines in Colorado Taco Bell restaurants that Defendant owns, operates, leases to or leases from others." Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Taco Bell Corp., 184 F.R.D. 354 (D. Colo. 1999).
On January 18, 2000, the parities entered into a voluntary settlement agreement. The agreement applied to all current and future Taco Bell restaurants in Colorado owned by the Taco Bell Corporation. However, there was a provision for franchisees. The plaintiffs agreed to a moratorium on lawsuits against franchisees for two years and Taco Bell agreed to provide guidelines to the franchisees to help them comply with the ADAAG. Taco Bell agreed that the design of its queue lines and counters would comply with ADAAG standards. Additionally, Taco Bell agreed to provide guidelines to its employees so they would maintain the accessible queue aisles.
Taco Bell agreed to pay $210,000 in attorney's fees and costs and $50 for each class member affected, not to exceed $5700. Additionally, Taco Bell agreed to pay a Coalition official $25 per hour, not to exceed $3500 total, to monitor Taco Bell's compliance with the agreement.
On March 1, 2000, in an unpublished order the court dismissed the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as moot, in light of the settlement agreement. The court approved the settlement on March 2, 2000 and dismissed the case on March 23, 2000.Eric Weiler - 05/18/2010