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Case Name Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill DR-CA-0034
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-02671 ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On December 6, 2006, a disabled individual who uses a wheelchair for mobility filed this class action against Chipotle restaurants, alleging a number of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California State law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
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On December 6, 2006, a disabled individual who uses a wheelchair for mobility filed this class action against Chipotle restaurants, alleging a number of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California State law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Specifically the plaintiff alleged that when he visited two Chipotle restaurants, a 44 inch high wall in front of the food preparation counter obstructed his view of the ingredients. He also claimed the restrooms, seating, entrances, and parking areas were inaccessible, all in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq; (2) the California Public Accommodation Law, California Civil Code §§51, 52, and 54, et seq; (3) the California Health And Safety Code § 19950. He requested a declaratory judgment, an injunction ordering defendants to cease violation of the statutes and modify restaurants to comply with them; statutory damages, compensatory damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge Napoleon A. Jones, Jr., and the defendant filed a motion to consolidate this case with a related case (case number 05-cv-1660), also before Judge Jones {RIGHT?}. The Court granted the consolidation of this case but only for discovery purposes. 2007 WL 934623 ({NEED DATE}). The defendant then filed an ex parte motion to consolidate the two cases for trial as well as discovery. This time, Judge Jones denied the defendant's motion to consolidate, holding that there was significant procedural differences between the cases, as case number 05-cv-1660 was already ready for trial at the time of the opinion, as it was filed more than two years prior, while this case was still in its formative stages. This case also involved significantly more plaintiffs and public accommodations compared to case number 05-cv-1600. Therefore, he found that the potential for delay and prejudice outweighed other matters, and denied the motion. 2007 WL 2669531.

On June 17, 2007, the court granted partial summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims relating to the men's restrooms, seating areas, parking areas, and entrances. The Court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment as to several of the plaintiff's ADA and California Public Accommodations Act claims because the defendant altered various parts of the restaurants to comply with the ADA after the filing of the suit. The court granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to the Public Accommodation Act claim related to the parking lots because they did not comply with the ADA prior to the alterations. The Court held that Section 7.2.(2) of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAGG) required the defendant to either lower the counter wall height to 36 inches or provide "equivalent facilitation." Chipotle had an unwritten policy of accommodating customers, but the court said there was still a genuine issue of material fact as to whether this was "equivalent facilitation." The court denied motions to reconsider by both parties. Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 05-1660, 2007 WL 2456223 (S.D.Cal. August 23, 2007).

After a bench trial on November 27, 29, 30, and December 3, 2007, the court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law, Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No 05-1660, 2008 WL 111052 (Jan 10, 2008 S.D.Cal.). It ordered: (1) Chipotle's prior practice of accommodating customers did not constitute equivalent facilitation but; (2) its current written Customers With Disabilities Policy constituted equivalent facilitation; (3) the plaintiff was not entitled to an injunction because: he did not demonstrate a bona fide intent to return to the restaurants and Chipotle's new written policy was equivalent facilitation {WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?}; and (4) the Plaintiff was entitled to $5000 in damages for the times he visited the restaurant because of the unwritten policy. The new written policy required the manager to greet disabled customers and ask them whether they required accommodation. On April 21, 2008, the court denied the plaintiff's motion to amend findings of facts and for additional findings.

The plaintiff's attorneys sought $550,651.33 in fees and expenses. The Court granted this motion in part, allowing only reasonable fees for issues upon which the plaintiff prevailed. The Court granted $136,537.83 in fees and ordered the parties to pay their own costs.

On May 15, 2009, the court ordered a stay pending appeal on the issue of attorney's fees. Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No 05-1660, 2009 WL 1390811 (S.D. Cal. May 15, 2009). An April 2, 2010 notation on the docket of a Court of Appeals' order regarding oral argument an amicus briefs is the last entry on the docket. The 09-55327 and 09-55425 appeals dockets' last entries on February 26, 2010 note that oral argument is scheduled for April, 2010.

The case was heard by the Ninth Circuit and the court issued an opinion which affirmed-in-part, reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded to the District Court for further proceedings. 643 F.3d 1165 ((9th Cir. 2010).

The court affirmed the district court's holding that Chipotle’s unwritten earlier policy violated the Disabilities Act. The portions of the judgment determining that Chipotle’s written policy did not violate the Act and that Antoninetti was not entitled to an injunction were reversed, and the case was remanded to the district court to enter a judgment that Chipotle violated the Disabilities Act and to issue appropriate injunctive relief. The portions of the judgment that awarded an attorney’s fee of $136,537.83 and awarded damages of $5,000 under the California Act were vacated and the case was remanded for the district court to reconsider those issues. The Ninth Circuit awarded attorney's costs to the plaintiff and referred the question of appropriate fees to the Circuit Mediator. The plaintiff was awarded $353,469.95 in attorneys fees and expenses.

Chipotle petitioned the Ninth Circuit for rehearing en banc, but the court denied the petition. And on February 23, 2011, the Supreme Court also denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

On November 29, 2010, the District Court entered judgment against Chipotle Mexican Grill for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On January 10, 2011, the plaintiffs and the defendant filed a joint motion to allow plaintiffs to file a first amended complaint in order to correct a mistake by the plaintiffs. The district court granted the motion by order on January 13, 2011, deeming the complaint filed on the date the motion was filed. On January 28, 2011, the defendant motioned to strike portions of the first amended complaint that were allegedly immaterial and impertinent. The defendant claimed that the complaint cited and misrepresented a superseded opinion. Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz denied the motion on May 16, 2011.

The plaintiffs sought transaction information that pertained to all the defendant’s stores in California, claiming that it was not a trade secret and that the defendant has waived the right to a protective order. On March 17, 2011, the district court ordered that while the defendant did not waive the right to obtain a protective order and showed good cause for a protective order, the court would adopt two suggestions proposed by the plaintiffs that allowed them access to certain information of the defendant as long as there were certain safeguards against commercial harm to the defendant. 2011 WL 8831149. Magistrate Judge William McCurine, Jr. ordered the protective order into effect by on April 5, 2011.

The plaintiffs filed a motion to certify class on April 15, 2011. On April 21, 2011, Judge McCurine granted in part and denied in part the defendant’s motion to compel further answers. The issue was whether the class plaintiff was an appropriate class representative, given his business relationship with the class council and the brother of the class council. Judge McCurine ordered the plaintiff in question to produce documents showing any and all income received from the class counsel. 2011 WL 1522449, 2012 WL 3762440.

On August 28, 2012, Judge Moskowitz denied the plaintiffs’ motion to certify class without prejudice. He held that the plaintiffs could not show that class certification was appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b). He asserted that the plaintiffs claims for injunctive and declaratory relief were moot, the common legal issue in the case had already been resolved and that a class action would not be superior to other available methods for adjudication. The plaintiffs then moved for reconsideration and/or clarification. Judge Moskowitz denied the motion for reconsideration, but granted the motion for clarification. 2013 WL 149722.

The plaintiffs filed a motion to substitute plaintiffs on May 20, 2011. This motion was granted for each plaintiff by the district court on May 26, 2011 and July 25, 2011, respectively.

All parties in this case effected a settlement agreement (July 2, 2013 version) between the plaintiffs (some of which were in separate causes of action against defendant but were added as plaintiffs in this case in the second amended complaint) and the defendant. According the settlement agreement, within fifteen days after the signing of the settlement agreement, Chipotle had to pay the plaintiffs $225,000.00 to resolve all claims for damages against the defendant. Chipotle also had to conspicuously post notice on its website that class certification was denied in the Southern District action (only those plaintiffs who were a part of this action at the time of the order denying class certification by Judge Moskowitz on August 28, 2012), and that the plaintiffs intended to settle the case rather than appeal the denial of certification.

The settlement agreement stipulated that while Chipotle would bear its own attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs, the defendant shall pay reasonable attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs to the plaintiffs. In the event an amount could not be established between the parties, the district court would determine the amount. After completion of the notice requirement, the parties were to file a joint stipulation for voluntary dismissal of the action, with request to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. The parties also agreed that the Southern District Court should retain jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ fees and costs as well as over any future disputes between the parties even after dismissal.

Plaintiffs and the defendant filed a second joint motion to amend the complaint in order to add plaintiffs (mentioned in the settlement agreement) on July 19, 2013. Judge Moskowitz granted the motion on July 23, 2013.

On August 14, 2013, the plaintiffs and defendant filed a joint motion for court approval of notice to the putative class in regards to the settlement of the plaintiffs’ claims via Chipotle’s website and approval of the notice already provided to disability rights organizations and individuals by plaintiff’s counsel. Judge Moskowitz granted the motion on August 20, holding that no further notice by the plaintiffs was necessary.

On September 27, 2013, the plaintiffs and defendants filed a joint motion to retain jurisdiction to determine attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses and to interpret and enforce the parties’ settlement agreement. The parties had reached and executed a global settlement agreement, and therefore sought to confirm that the district court would retain jurisdiction to interpret and enforce the settlement agreement after dismissal of the action as well as decide all claims of attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs. On October 3, 2013, the district court granted the parties’ joint motion to retain jurisdiction.

In relation to Perkins v. Chipotle Mexican Grill (case number 13-CV-01831-BTM), a related case to Antoninetti, Judge Moskowitz found that the notice of settlement approved by the district court in Antoninetti and posted on Chipotle’s website adequately protected the claims of the putative class members in Perkins. Accordingly, on November 12, 2013 he ordered that any joint motion for consolidation of Perkins and Antoninetti for dismissal should be filed within seven calendar days of the order.

One week later, the plaintiffs in both Perkins and Antoninetti, and the defendant filed a joint motion for consolidation of related cases, retention of jurisdiction by court, and dismissal of consolidated action. The parties filed the motion in order to consolidate Perkins and Antoninetti, as the facts and claims asserted by both cases were related; both actions involved only one defendant, Chipotle Mexican Grill and both actions alleged that persons in wheelchairs were denied equal access to defendant’s restaurants. The parties also requested that the district court retain jurisdiction over the consolidated cases, even after dismissal for purposes of interpreting and enforcing the settlement agreement. Finally, contingent on the court consolidation of the two cases, the parties also jointly requested that the court dismiss the claims in the consolidated action. Judge Moskowitz granted the motion on December 3, 2013 by consolidating Perkins and Antoninetti, retaining jurisdiction for the court over the consolidated action even after dismissal, incorporating the parties’ settlement agreement, and finally dismissing the plaintiffs claims with prejudice and dismissing the claims of putative class members without prejudice.

On January 31, 2014, the case was transferred from Judge McCurine to Judge David H. Bartick. The case was again transferred on March 28, 2014 from Judge Bartick to Judge Jill L. Burkhardt.

On December 2, 2013 the plaintiffs filed a motion for attorneys’ fees. On September 29, 2014 Judge Moskowitz granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees and cost. The district court ordered the plaintiffs $317,927.50 in attorneys’ fees and $19,824.77 in costs, for a total of $337,752.27. As no other issues remained, the clerk was ordered to close the docket of the case. 49 F.Supp.3d 710.

One plaintiff then filed a notice of appeal to the 9th circuit as to the order granting in part and denying in part plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees on October 27, 2014. On June 9, 2015 the 9th Circuit denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the appeal. As of August 4, 2016, the appeal is still pending, currently being considered for October 2016 Pasadena oral argument calendar.

Eric Weiler - 06/07/2010
Matt Ramirez - 08/04/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Disparate Treatment
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Parking
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Disabled patrons of Chipotle restaurants.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-CA-0033 : Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill (S.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
3:05−cv−01660−BTM−WMC (S.D. Cal.) 12/22/2014
DR-CA-0034-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:06-cv-02671-BTM -WMC (S.D. Cal.) 06/09/2015
DR-CA-0034-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Class Action Complaint] 12/06/2006 (2006 WL 4034053)
DR-CA-0034-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s Answer And Affirmative Defenses 12/28/2006
DR-CA-0034-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s Answer and Affirmative Defenses 12/28/2006
DR-CA-0034-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice and Order Regarding Early Neutral Evaluation 01/05/2007 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order: (1) Denying Defendants' Motion To Dismiss Case No. 05CV1660-J (WMC); (2) Granting Defendants' Motion To Consolidate For Purposes Of Discovery Only 03/20/2007 (2007 WL 935623) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Following Early Neutral Evaluation Conference, Setting Rule 26 Compliance and Notice of Case Management Conference 04/20/2007 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Defendant's Ex Parte Motion] 09/07/2007 (2007 WL 2669531) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0026.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Adjudicating Various Discovery Motions Of Both Parties] 11/08/2007 (2007 WL 3333109) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order: (1) Adopting Joint Proposed Legal Standards . . . ; (2) Summarily Dismissing Plaintiff's Supplemental Legal Standards . . . ; Adopting In Part And Dismissing In Part Defendant's Supplemental Legal Standards 11/19/2007 (2007 WL 4162804) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order Granting Joint Motion Re: Stay Of Action Pending Appeal In Related Case 10/30/2009 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 07/26/2010 (643 F.3d 1165)
DR-CA-0034-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [regarding the application of the ADA at Chipotle] 07/26/2010 (614 F.3d 971)
DR-CA-0034-0027.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 01/10/2011
DR-CA-0034-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Protective Order 03/17/2011 (2011 WL 8831149) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0020.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order 04/05/2011 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting in part and denying in part Chipotle's Motion to Compel] 04/21/2011 (2011 WL 1522449) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting Chipotle's Motion to Compel] 05/23/2011 (2011 WL 2003292) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class, Appointment of Class Representatives and Appointment of Class Counsel 08/28/2012 (2012 WL 3762440) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration and Granting in Part Motion for Clarification 01/14/2013 (2013 WL 149722) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 07/19/2013
DR-CA-0034-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Notice of Settlement 08/20/2013
DR-CA-0034-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [regarding joint motion and dismissal] 11/12/2013 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0024.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 11/19/2013
DR-CA-0034-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees & Costs 09/29/2014 (49 F.Supp.3d 710) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Civil Case 09/30/2014 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Attorney Fees 04/10/2016 (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Friedman, Daniel Mortimer (Fed. Circuit, )
DR-CA-0034-0013 | DR-CA-0034-0027
Jones, Napoleon A. Jr. (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0003 | DR-CA-0034-0004 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0026
McCurine, William Jr. (S.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0034-0012 | DR-CA-0034-0020 | DR-CA-0034-0021 | DR-CA-0034-0022 | DR-CA-0034-0023 | DR-CA-0034-9000
Moskowitz, Barry Ted (S.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0034-0005 | DR-CA-0034-0006 | DR-CA-0034-0014 | DR-CA-0034-0017 | DR-CA-0034-0018 | DR-CA-0034-0024 | DR-CA-0034-9000
Porter, Louisa S. (S.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0034-0010
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Vandeveld, Thomas Joseph III (California)
DR-CA-0034-0025 | DR-CA-0034-9000
Vandeveld, Amy B. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0001 | DR-CA-0034-0007 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0016 | DR-CA-0034-0025 | DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Cavanagh, Charles C. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-0025 | DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Christensen, Kent Roger (California)
DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Evans, Melinda (California)
DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Groves, Matthew R. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Hafer, Edward J. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Herter, Stacey L. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0002 | DR-CA-0034-0011 | DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Herzog, Jonathan J. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Hurley, Gregory F. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0002 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0011 | DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Scalia, John Francis (Virginia)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Sorensen, Matthew (Virginia)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Sugden, David R. (California)
DR-CA-0034-9000 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Vu, Jeanne Uyen (California)
DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009
Weston, William S. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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