University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Center for Independent Living v. Wal-Mart Stores DR-CA-0038
Docket / Court 12 cv 3885 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On July 25, 2012, the Center for Independent Living, a non-profit disability advocacy and support organization, and several named individual plaintiffs with disabilities necessitating the use of wheelchairs or scooters filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly ... read more >
On July 25, 2012, the Center for Independent Living, a non-profit disability advocacy and support organization, and several named individual plaintiffs with disabilities necessitating the use of wheelchairs or scooters filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, against Wal-Mart. The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart's refusal to provide wheelchair-accessible point-of-sale (POS) terminals at its many of its California stores, when accessible alternatives were readily available, constituted illegal discrimination against people with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12182 et seq., California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code §§ 51 et seq. and the California Disabled Persons Act, California Civil Code §§ 54-54.3. The plaintiffs sought an injunction enjoining future violations of the ADA and the Unruh Act, an injunction ensuring wheelchair and scooter users full and equal access to POS terminals, money damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart's use of completely inaccessible POS systems, its refusal to install accessible alternatives, and its failure to provide a paper-printout alternative to the POS system for signature functions and information conveyance constituted an ongoing and systemic pattern and practice of discrimination. Wal-Mart had been informed at least as early as 2005 that its POS terminals were inaccessible.

On August 13, 2012, a separate class-action suit was filed in California state court with substantially similar allegations, but including specific allegations involving Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores as well (Partida v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.). Wal-Mart filed moved to have the second case removed to federal court because it involved issues arising under Federal law (the ADA). This motion was granted on November 21, 2012. Wal-Mart then filed an unopposed motion to have the two cases consolidated, which was granted. The cases were consolidated for all purposes on April 3, 2013.

On April 12, 2013, the Court (Judge Charles R. Breyer) granted a motion filed by the Center for Independent Living's attorneys, appointing them as interim class counsel for the plaintiffs.

The parties appear to be pursuing a mediated settlement. On April 25, 2013 the court approved a modification to an earlier scheduling order extending the period for mediation to June 7, 2013, and on June 18, 2013 the Court approved a motion granting a ninety-day stay pending further mediation.

Alex Colbert-Taylor - 06/26/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Retailer
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Retail Shopping
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action State law
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Wal-Mart
Plaintiff Description Organizational plaintiff, Center for Independent Living, and named plaintiff filing on behalf of class consisting of disabled Wal-Mart shoppers who use wheelchairs or scooters alleging discriminatory impact resulting from inaccessible POS terminals.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:13-cv-00305-CRB (N.D. Cal.) 04/03/2013
DR-CA-0038-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:12−cv−03885 (N.D. Cal.) 05/07/2013
DR-CA-0038-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint (Class Action) 07/25/2012
DR-CA-0038-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Joint Stipulation and Motion for Administrative Relief from General Order no. 56 to Permit Parties to Pursue Alternative Settlement Procedures; Order 11/21/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s Notice of Removal of Civil Action From State Court 11/21/2012
DR-CA-0038-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Certification as to Interested Parties and FRCP 7.1 Corporate Disclosures 11/21/2012
DR-CA-0038-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion Requesting Appointment of Interim Class Counsel Pursuant to Rule 23(G) 04/01/2013 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendant Wal-Mart Store, Inc.'s Notice of Motion and Motion to Consolidate Cases Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 04/03/2013 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation to Modify November 2012 Order and Order Thereon 04/25/2013 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0003 | DR-CA-0038-0004 | DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Campins, Julia (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Chuang, Christine (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Knestrick, Kevin M. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Mayerson, Arlene Brynne (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Mehrban, Julie (California)
DR-CA-0038-9001
Paradis, Laurence W. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Wakschlag, Shira T. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Worthman, Catha (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Earnest, Mark Easton (California)
DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Naeve, Robert A (California)
DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0006 | DR-CA-0038-0007 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Zadravecz, Steven Mark (California)
DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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