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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Communities Actively Living Independent and Free v. City of Los Angeles DR-CA-0048
Docket / Court 09-cv-0287 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On January 14, 2009, disability rights advocacy organizations and individuals with disabilities in the Los Angeles Area filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City and County of Los Angeles ... read more >
On January 14, 2009, disability rights advocacy organizations and individuals with disabilities in the Los Angeles Area filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City and County of Los Angeles under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794; The California Disabled Persons Act, California Civil Code § 54 et. seq. and California Government Code § 11135. The plaintiffs, represented by counsel from Disability Rights Advocates and the Disability Rights Legal Center, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and attorney fees and costs alleging that the defendants discriminated against the 800,000 people with disabilities in the Los Angeles area by failing to create an emergency response plan that would accommodate individuals with disabilities. That failure, the plaintiffs allege, has caused individuals with disabilities to be a greater risk for serious injury or death as the result of a disaster. Specifically the plaintiffs allege that among other things the defendants failed to provide mechanisms to communicate with individuals with communication-related disabilities during disasters, the defendants also failed to ensure that the emergency shelter facilities were accessible to individuals with mobility related disabilities, and defendants failed to make specific plans for how to transport individuals with disabilities in response to a disaster.

On April 13, 2010, the District Court (Judge Consuelo B. Marshall) certified the case as a class action and identified the class as stipulated to by the parties as all those who are disabled according to the Americans with Disabilities Act that live within the jurisdiction of emergency preparedness services of the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.

On October 7, 2010, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the agency responsible for enforcing the ADA and Section 504, filed a Statement of Interest supporting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. The statement argued that the defendants violated the ADA and Section 504 by failing to account for individuals with disabilities in its disaster response planning and thereby denied them access to public accommodations that received federal funding.

On February 10, 2011, the District Court (Judge Marshall) issued an order that among other things, partially granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. The Court found the defendants where liable under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and The California Disabled Persons Act (a violation of the ADA is also constitutes a violation of the California Disabled Persons Act) because the defendants have failed to create any plans that provide persons with disabilities access to the emergency-related benefits of notification regarding emergencies, evacuation services, transportation, and accessible shelters, all of which are provided to those who do not have disabilities. The defendants failed to provide access to shelters by failing to determine which if any of the shelters are accessible to person with disabilities and those with disabilities requiring specific needs such as accommodations that allow for service animals. The court rejected the defendant's argument that it could make ad hoc accommodations for individuals with disabilities and thus did not need to plan for those needs by noting that the purpose of an emergency response plan is to reduce the need for ad hoc decision making by anticipating eventualities. Communities Actively Living Independent and Free v. City of Los Angeles 2011 WL 4595993.

On November 9, 2011, the District Court (Judge Marshall) issued an injunction requiring the City of Los Angeles to hire a consultant to evaluate their current emergency management plan and help create a new plan within three years. The City of Los Angeles appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On February 14, 2012, the appeal was voluntarily dismissed by the parties.

On June 10, 2013, after years of negotiations and hearings on some objections to the settlement agreement, the District Court (Judge Marshall) approved a six-year settlement agreement between the plaintiffs and the County of Los Angeles where the defendants agree to continue to use consultants to improve their emergency response plans that must be adopted within the six-year term of the agreement; appoint a monitor to oversee the implementation of those plans; and the creation of a dispute resolution mechanism using the magistrate judge as the arbiter of any disputes.

On that same day, the District Court (Judge Marshall) also awarded the plaintiffs with attorney fees of $1,225,000 and compensation for the costs of monitoring the settlement agreement of up to $75,000.

On July 18, 2013, the District Court (Judge Marshall) entered an order dismissing the case against the County of Los Angeles, but pursuant to the settlement agreement the court retains jurisdiction over disputes arising under the settlement agreement. As of this writing (4/21/2014) no dispute has been brought before the court.

Brian Kempfer - 04/21/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Fire
Jurisdiction-wide
Transportation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Integrated setting
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-area
Contracting
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Bathing and hygiene
Bathrooms
Buildings
Communication skills
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Emergency shelter
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Government Services (specify)
Housing
Housing assistance
Placement in shelters
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Transportation
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
State law
Defendant(s) City of Los Angeles
County of Los Angeles
Plaintiff Description Disability advocacy organizations and individuals with disabilities who receive emergency services from the City or County of Los Angeles
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2013 - 2019
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:09−cv−00287 (C.D. Cal.) 01/15/2014
DR-CA-0048-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of Civil Rights & Discrimination Against People with Disabilities Act: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; California Civil Code §54, et seq.; California Government 01/14/2009
DR-CA-0048-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Certification of a Class 04/13/2010 (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States 10/07/2010
DR-CA-0048-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 1) Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Ajudication on Liability; 2) Granting in Part Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike; 3) Granting Plaintiffs' Request for Judicial Notice; 4) Sustaining Plaintiffs' Object; and 5) Overruling Defendant City of of 02/10/2011 (2011 WL 4595993) (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Injunctive Relief [Clarifying Court's Order Approving Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Adjudication] 11/09/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Proposed] Class Settlement Agreement 10/01/2012
DR-CA-0048-0009.pdf | Detail
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement with County of Los Angeles 06/10/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Application for Reasonable Attorneys' Fees and Costs 06/10/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Dismissing Case RE Defendant County of Los Angeles 07/18/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Marshall, Consuelo Bland (C.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0048-0002 | DR-CA-0048-0004 | DR-CA-0048-0005 | DR-CA-0048-0006 | DR-CA-0048-0007 | DR-CA-0048-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chuang, Christine (California)
DR-CA-0048-9000
Navarro, Lillibeth (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009
Parks, Shawna L (California)
DR-CA-0048-0001 | DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Patkin, Debra (California)
DR-CA-0048-0001 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Pearlman, Paula D. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0001 | DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Smith, Mary-Lee Kimber (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Uzeta, Michelle (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Werner, Kara Jane (California)
DR-CA-0048-9000
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Birotte, Andre Jr. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0003 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Breen, Philip L. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003
Byers, Adrienne M. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Cruz, Rosa Linda (California)
DR-CA-0048-9000
Dermer, Gabriel Seth (California)
DR-CA-0048-9000
Faughan, Thomas J. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009
Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003
Krattli, John F. (California)
DR-CA-0048-0009
Lutzker, Dov (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003
Lynch, William Francis (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003 | DR-CA-0048-0003 | DR-CA-0048-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003
Rittenberg, Laurie (California)
DR-CA-0048-9000
Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0048-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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