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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Shepherd v. U.S. Olympic Committee DR-CO-0015
Docket / Court 1:99-cv-02077-JLK-MEH ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On October 26, 1999, a disabled athlete and employee of the Paralympic Games sued the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, claiming the USOC gave better training, benefits, and rewards to non-disabled olympic athletes, in violation of Title III of ... read more >
On October 26, 1999, a disabled athlete and employee of the Paralympic Games sued the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, claiming the USOC gave better training, benefits, and rewards to non-disabled olympic athletes, in violation of Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq.; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. As an employee of the USOC, he also sued under Title I of the ADA for employment discrimination, and state law for breach of contract .



Although the Court never specifically ordered consolidation, a June 14, 2006 an order consolidated the Shepherd Case with Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, also filed in the District of Colorado before Judge Kane. This case appears in the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse Database as DR-CO-0016. The facts are largely analogous - paralympic athlete sued the USOC for discrimination in training, accommodations, funding, and so forth. Many other motions and appeals were consolidated in the two cases after the June 14, 2006 order.

Specifically, Plaintiff claimed the USOC provided benefits to non-disabled olympic athletes, including tuition assistance, health insurance, financial support, access to training facilities, and rewards for medals achieved in the Olympic Games. The USOC provided either inferior benefits to paralympic athletes or no benefits at all. Count II of the complaint alleged violation of

Additionally, the plaintiff's position at the USOC required that he promote awareness of disabled sports and promote them, among other functions. The complaint alleged that the USOC failed to provide him with pay, advancements, bonuses, budgeting, support staff, and promotions that it provided to similarly situated non-disabled employees of the USOC. The plaintiff also alleged retaliatory termination.

The plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief.

On April 20, 2000, the District Court addressed the USOC's motions for summary judgment and to strike, with varied results. A summary of this order appears on the docket. The parties then engaged in a lengthy discovery battle, in which several third parties sought protective orders. On September 21, 2005, the District Court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss and on June 14, 2006, the District Court ordered the parties to submit proposed orders regarding the viability of Counts I and II of the complaint, the "athlete" claims under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. Shepherd v. U.S. Olympic Committee, No. 99-2077, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39295 (D. Colo. Jun. 14, 2006). This order also consolidated similar motions for summary judgment by the defendants in Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, mentioned above.

On November 16, 2006, in a published order, the District Court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss Counts II and III, the "athlete" counts, leaving only the "employment" counts, I and IV. Shepherd v. U.S. Olympic Committee, 464 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (D. Colo. 2006). The Court found many parts of the claims problematic: the training facilities were not really "public accommodations" because they were limited to athletes preselected by the USOC; and the ASA separated the Olympics and Paralympics programs and created separate governing bodies, thus plaintiffs had not been "excluded." On January 10, 2007, final judgment was entered against the plaintiff as to Counts II and III. In this order, the court also granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary adjudication regarding the employment claims.

On July 2, 2007, the docket indicates that a 2 week jury trial was scheduled for February 18 to 29, 2008. It appears the parties settled the employment-related claims. The case was dismissed with prejudice by stipulation on January 10, 2008. No settlement agreement is publicly available at this time.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated the Shepherd and Hollonbeck cases on Plaintiff's appeal of the District Court's grant of the defendant's motion to dismiss the "athlete" claims. Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr., writing for himself and Judge Jerome A. Holmes upheld the District Court's dismissal, finding that although the USOC's policy resulted in disparate impact on disabled athletes, this did not state a claim under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Judge William J. Holloway, Jr. dissented and would have reversed the District Court. Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, 513 F.3d 1191 (10th Cir. 2008). There has been no further development in this case.

Eric Weiler - 07/01/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Olympic Committee
Plaintiff Description Paralympic athlete and employee of U.S. Olympic Committee
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing DR-CO-0016 : Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee (D. Colo.)
Docket(s)
1:99−cv−00795 (D. Colo.) 04/29/2008
DR-CO-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiff's Supplemental Brief In Support Of His Motion For Partial Summary Judgment Pursuant To Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) 09/21/2001
DR-CO-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Second Amended Complaint 10/09/2001
DR-CO-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's Memorandum In Support Of His Motion For Partial Summary Adjudication 09/18/2002
DR-CO-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Memorandum In Opposition To The USOC's Motion For Summary Judgment On Plaintiff's Second And Third Claims For Relief 10/09/2002
DR-CO-0015-0009.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's Reply Memorandum In Support Of His Motion For Partial Summary Adjudication 10/16/2002
DR-CO-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Defendant's Submission Of Recently-Decided Authority In Support Of Its Response In Opposition To Plaintiff's Motion For Summary judgment 09/19/2005
DR-CO-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Directing Parties To File Authorities Re Parties' Motions For Summary Judgment And Defendant's Motion To Dismiss] 06/14/2006 (2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 39295) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0015-0015.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Memorandum Opinion And Order Granting Defendants' Dispositive Motions Re Athlete Claims 11/16/2006 (464 F.Supp.2d 1072) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0015-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Direction Of Final Judgment Pursuant To F.R.C.P. Rule 54(b) 01/10/2007 (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appellants' Consolidated Opening Brief 05/02/2007
DR-CO-0015-0011.pdf | Detail
Appellants' Reply Brief 07/13/2007
DR-CO-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Stipulation For Dismissal With Prejudice 01/07/2008 (2008 WL 628512)
DR-CO-0015-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Dismissing The Complaint With Prejudice By Stipulation] 01/10/2008 (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Affirming District Court's Dismissal of Plaintiffs' Claims] 01/16/2008 (513 F.3d 1191)
DR-CO-0015-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion [Denying Petition For Writ of Certiorari] 10/06/2008 (555 U.S. 938)
DR-CO-0015-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Hegarty, Michael E. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
DR-CO-0015-9000
Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0015-0016
Holmes, Jerome A. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0015-0016
Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0015-0004 | DR-CO-0015-0006 | DR-CO-0015-0013 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Kelly, Paul Joseph Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0015-0016
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Breeskin, Michael Wayne (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0001 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Faley, Andrea E. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0001 | DR-CO-0015-0003 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0001 | DR-CO-0015-0002 | DR-CO-0015-0003 | DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0008 | DR-CO-0015-0009 | DR-CO-0015-0010 | DR-CO-0015-0011 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-0016
Greisen, Paula Dee (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0001 | DR-CO-0015-0003 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Jeffries, Countess Pease (California)
DR-CO-0015-9000
Killmer, Darold W. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0001 | DR-CO-0015-0002 | DR-CO-0015-0003 | DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0008 | DR-CO-0015-0009 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Krichiver, Ari Reuben (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-9000
Newman, Mari Anne (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0002 | DR-CO-0015-0003 | DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0008 | DR-CO-0015-0009 | DR-CO-0015-0010 | DR-CO-0015-0011 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-0016 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Williams, Kevin William (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0010 | DR-CO-0015-0011 | DR-CO-0015-0016
Defendant's Lawyers Asperger, James R. (California)
DR-CO-0015-9000
Bernhardt, Susan (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-9000
Butler, Edward John (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Cook, John William (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0007 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-0016 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Deeny, Raymond Miles (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0007 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-9000
George, Jeffrey S. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0016 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Handman, Christopher Todd (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0015-0007 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-0016 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Morgan, Virginia Starr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0007 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Turner, Anne Hall (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0016 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Webber, Nancy Dawn (Colorado)
DR-CO-0015-0005 | DR-CO-0015-0007 | DR-CO-0015-0015 | DR-CO-0015-9000
Other Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (Missouri)
DR-CO-0015-0016

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