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Case Name Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. DR-CO-0020
Docket / Court 1:09-cv-02757-WYD-KMT ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
Several individuals who use wheelchairs (and an organization representing individuals with disabilities, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC)) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on November 24, 2009, claiming that Hollister stores (owned by ... read more >
Several individuals who use wheelchairs (and an organization representing individuals with disabilities, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC)) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on November 24, 2009, claiming that Hollister stores (owned by Abercrombie & Fitch Co.) were inaccessible in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Colorado Civil Rights Act. The main entrances of Hollister stores typically have "raised porches" (featuring stairs) and thus force individuals in wheelchairs to use separate entrances or not enter at all. The plaintiffs also allege several architectural barriers in the set-up and design of the stores.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (A&F) moved to dismiss the complaint in May 2010, alleging that the plaintiffs in the case did not have standing to assert their claims. A&F argued that the individual plaintiffs did not have standing to demand compliance in Hollister stores nationwide, but rather, could only make claims in reference to those stores that each individual plaintiff was likely to visit again. A&F also argued that the CCDC did not have adequate organizational standing to bring these claims on behalf of its members. The court (Judge Wiley Y. Daniel) rejected this motion in May 2011. Judge Daniel found that the individual plaintiffs could assert claims in reference to Hollister stores across the country because the stores share a common plan or design that plaintiffs allege violates the ADA. The court also found that CCDC had satisfied the requirements for organizational standing.

On March 16, 2011, the plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment with respect to two Hollister stores, arguing that the raised porch design violates Title III. Title III and its accompanying regulations require that all buildings erected after 1993 with the Department of Justice Standards for Accessible Design ("DOJ Standards"). The 1991 DOJ Standards state that, where feasible, the accessible entryway should be near the entrance that is used by the majority of people. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief supporting the plaintiffs' interpretation and recommending that the court grant summary judgment. The court granted this motion on August 31, 2011.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification on October 21, 2011, and the court certified the class on April 20, 2012. The named plaintiffs in the case were now certified to represent the interests of all individuals who use wheelchairs who wish to enter Hollister stores across the country. In light of this, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on April 27, 2012.

A&F filed its own motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative to vacate the August 31, 2011 order, on May 3, 2012. In that motion, they allege that the two stores that were subject to the August 31, 2011 order are no longer in violation of the ADA (one closed, the other made modifications). A&F also claimed that regardless of the changes, Hollister stores comply with the 2010 DOJ Standards. The defendants argued that the 2010 standards on entrances were more flexible than the earlier 1991 version. In response to this claim, DOJ filed a brief again siding with the plaintiffs. The DOJ brief explained that although the language of the 2010 DOJ Standards is slightly different from the 1991 DOJ Standards, this difference of language is not meaningful. DOJ reference the regulatory history to argue that the language of the standards was not intended to change the requirement from the 1991 version.

After a hearing on January 24, 2013, Judge Daniel granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. In an order issued on March 7, 2013, the judge found that the named plaintiffs could raise claims on behalf of a nationwide class and that the raised porch design violated both the 2010 and 1991 standards, which demand the same accessibility of entrances.

The case is ongoing, as the parties will now meet to negotiate an appropriate injunction so that Hollister stores can move toward ADA compliance.

Beth Kurtz - 04/09/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Retailer
Disability
disability, unspecified
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Barrier Removal
Buildings
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are individuals who use wheelchairs and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, a Colorado organization of individuals with disabilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:09-cv-02757-WYD-KMT (D. Colo.) 03/15/2013
DR-CO-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Third Amended and Class Action Complaint 08/31/2010
DR-CO-0020-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Renewed Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing 09/20/2010
DR-CO-0020-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 03/16/2011
DR-CO-0020-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The United States of America's Statement of Interest on Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 05/31/2011
DR-CO-0020-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Order Denying Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing 06/02/2011 (2011 WL 2173713) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0020-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 08/31/2011 (835 F.Supp.2d 1077) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0020-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 10/31/2011
DR-CO-0020-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fifth Amended and Class Action Complaint 12/08/2011
DR-CO-0020-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Class Certification 04/20/2012 (2012 WL 1378531) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0020-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Entry of Injunction and Entry of Judgment 04/27/2012
DR-CO-0020-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, to Vacate August 31, 2011 Order 05/03/2012
DR-CO-0020-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The United States of America's Statement of Interest on the Parties' Motions for Summary Judgment 06/26/2012
DR-CO-0020-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 03/07/2013 (2013 WL 856510) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0020-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Daniel, Wiley Young (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0020-0001 | DR-CO-0020-0009 | DR-CO-0020-0012 | DR-CO-0020-0013 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Tafoya, Kathleen M. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
DR-CO-0020-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Campins, Julia (California)
DR-CO-0020-0002 | DR-CO-0020-0004 | DR-CO-0020-0007 | DR-CO-0020-0008 | DR-CO-0020-0010 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (California)
DR-CO-0020-0002 | DR-CO-0020-0004 | DR-CO-0020-0007 | DR-CO-0020-0008 | DR-CO-0020-0010 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Lucas, Carrie Ann (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-0002 | DR-CO-0020-0004 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Montoya, Andrew Christopher (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-0007 | DR-CO-0020-0008 | DR-CO-0020-0010 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-0002 | DR-CO-0020-0004 | DR-CO-0020-0007 | DR-CO-0020-0008 | DR-CO-0020-0010 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Williams, Kevin William (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-0002 | DR-CO-0020-0004 | DR-CO-0020-0007 | DR-CO-0020-0008 | DR-CO-0020-0010 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Eurich, Gregory Alan (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-0003 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Knueve, Mark A. (Ohio)
DR-CO-0020-0003 | DR-CO-0020-0011 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Miller, Richard T. (Ohio)
DR-CO-0020-0003 | DR-CO-0020-0011
Neguse, Joseph (Colorado)
DR-CO-0020-9000
Ridgley, Thomas Brennan (Ohio)
DR-CO-0020-0003 | DR-CO-0020-0011 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Other Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005
Foran, Sheila (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0006
Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0006
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0006
Kijewski, Kevin J. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0006
Nichol, Allison (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005 | DR-CO-0020-0006
Sinha, Nabina (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0006 | DR-CO-0020-9000
Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005
Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)
DR-CO-0020-0005

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