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Case Name Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee DR-CO-0016
Docket / Court 1:03-cv-01364 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On July 28, 2003, disabled athletes of the Paralympic Games and a marketing company sued the U.S. Olympic Committee in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Judge John L. Kane, claiming that the USOC had a policy of giving grants, tuition assistance, and health insurance benefits ... read more >
On July 28, 2003, disabled athletes of the Paralympic Games and a marketing company sued the U.S. Olympic Committee in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Judge John L. Kane, claiming that the USOC had a policy of giving grants, tuition assistance, and health insurance benefits only to Olympic and Pan American Games athletes but not to paralympic athletes. The USOC also allegedly denied paralympic athletes access to training facilities and did not give them cash rewards for winning medals, like olympic athletes. The plaintiffs claimed these practices violate Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794.

Although the Court never specifically ordered consolidation, on June 14, 2006, an order regarding motions for summary judgment consolidated the Hollonbeck Case with Shepherd v. U.S. Olympic Committee, also filed in the District of Colorado under Judge Kane. The complaint was filed on October 26, 1999.

The individual plaintiffs were all athletes with disabilities who competed in the Paralympic Games, an international competition similar to the Olympic Games. The marketing company was a Georgia Corporation owned and managed by one of the plaintiffs. It was founded for the purpose of obtaining sponsors for the Paralympics.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on October 22, 2003 adding claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel regarding a contract between the marketing company and USOC.

The plaintiffs sought: a declaratory judgment that the defendants' actions violated the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and constituted a breach of contract; an injunction requiring the defendants to provide equal access to services and benefits to paralympic athletes; compensatory and other damages under state law and the Rehabilitation Act; and attorneys' fees and costs.

On November 16, 2006, the District Court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss Counts I and II. Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, 464 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (D. Colo. 2006). The Court found many parts of the claims problematic; that the training facilities were not really "public accommodations" because they were limited to athletes preselected by the USOC; that the ASA separated the Olympics and Paralympics programs with their own governing bodies, thus plaintiffs had not been "excluded;" and that the plaintiffs' complaint asked for equal rather than equivalent accommodations, which is not required by the ADA. The docket indicates that on January 10, 2007, the clerk entered final judgment on Counts I and II against the plaintiffs.

On July 12, 2007, the District Court dismissed the plaintiffs' remaining claims regarding the marketing contract and entered final judgment for the defendants.

The United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, consolidated the Shepherd and Hollonbeck cases for appeal. All plaintiffs appealed the District Court's grant of the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims. The Court of Appeals 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 Holloway dissented and would have reversed the District Court. Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, 513 F.3d 1191 (10th Cir. 2008).

On October 6, 2008, the Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs' petition for a writ of certiorari. Hollonbeck v. U.S. Olympic Committee, 129 S. Ct. 114 (2008). The last entry on the docket, on October 14, 2008, notes the Supreme Court's order.

Eric Weiler - 07/03/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
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 athletes and a Paralympic marketing corporation
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing DR-CO-0015 : Shepherd v. U.S. Olympic Committee (D. Colo.)
Docket(s)
1:03−cv−01364 (D. Colo.) 10/14/2008
DR-CO-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari
DR-CO-0016-0007.pdf | Detail
Amended Complaint 10/21/2003
DR-CO-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Brief In Opposition To Defendants' Motion To Dismiss Plaintiffs' Claims ADA And Rehab Act Claims Pursuant To Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(B)(6) 11/14/2003
DR-CO-0016-0003.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Second Submission Of Supplemental Authority 08/01/2005
DR-CO-0016-0004.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-0016-0013.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-0016-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Defendants' Answer And Affirmative Defenses To Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint And U.S. Paralympics Inc.'s Counterclaim 02/02/2007
DR-CO-0016-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff / Counterclaim Defendant Vie Sports Marketing, Inc.'s Reply And Defenses To The Counterclaim Of Defendant U.S. Paralympics, Inc. 02/28/2007
DR-CO-0016-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appellants' Consolidated Opening Brief 05/02/2007
DR-CO-0016-0009.pdf | Detail
Order Dismissing With Prejudice Vie Sports Marketing, Inc.'s Claims And U.S. Paralympics, Inc.'s Counterclaim 07/12/2007 (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0016-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Plaintiffs] Appellants' Reply Brief 07/13/2007
DR-CO-0016-0010.pdf | Detail
Opinion [Affirming Distrct Court'd Dismissal of Plaintiffs' Rehabilitation Act Claims]. 01/16/2008 (513 F.3d 1191)
DR-CO-0016-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reply Brief For Petitioners [Re Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari] 06/06/2008
DR-CO-0016-0008.pdf | Detail
Opinion [Denying Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari] 10/06/2008 (555 U.S. 938)
DR-CO-0016-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0016-0011
Holmes, Jerome A. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0016-0011
Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0016-0006 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-0014 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Kelly, Paul Joseph Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
DR-CO-0016-0011
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Breeskin, Michael Wayne (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0013
Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0001 | DR-CO-0016-0003 | DR-CO-0016-0004 | DR-CO-0016-0005 | DR-CO-0016-0007 | DR-CO-0016-0008 | DR-CO-0016-0009 | DR-CO-0016-0010 | DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Killmer, Darold W. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0013
Krichiver, Ari Reuben (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0005
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0001 | DR-CO-0016-0003 | DR-CO-0016-0004 | DR-CO-0016-0005 | DR-CO-0016-0007 | DR-CO-0016-0008 | DR-CO-0016-0009 | DR-CO-0016-0010 | DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Schnapper, Eric (New York)
DR-CO-0016-0007 | DR-CO-0016-0008
Williams, Kevin William (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0001 | DR-CO-0016-0003 | DR-CO-0016-0004 | DR-CO-0016-0005 | DR-CO-0016-0007 | DR-CO-0016-0008 | DR-CO-0016-0009 | DR-CO-0016-0010 | DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Butler, Edward John (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0013
Cook, John William (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0002 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Deeny, Raymond Miles (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0013
George, Jeffrey S. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0002 | DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Handman, Christopher Todd (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-0013 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Morgan, Virginia Starr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-9000
Turner, Anne Hall (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0002 | DR-CO-0016-0011 | DR-CO-0016-9000
Webber, Nancy Dawn (Colorado)
DR-CO-0016-0013
Other Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (Missouri)
DR-CO-0016-0011

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