On August 4, 2010, Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF) and a few individuals with mobility disabilities filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the city unlawfully failed to properly install accessible pedestrian rights of way, including curb ramps, sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian crossings. The complaint asserted two federal claims under the American with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and four state law claims. Represented by private counsels, the plaintiffs sought declarations, preliminary and permanent injunctions and damages relief.
On December 10, 2010, the court (Judge Consuelo Marshall) dismissed plaintiff's the state law claims without prejudice and the plaintiffs commenced a state court action against the City following this Court’s dismissal. On January 3, 2011, Judge Consuelo Marshall granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification for injunctive and declaratory relief only, and appointed class counsel. The plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment and on February 25, 2013, the Court granted the motion but denied without prejudice any request to preclude evidence that may be used for multiple purposes. In the mean time, plaintiff and the City undertook extensive discovery and engaged in extensive discovery as well as numerous discussions regarding settlement of the claims.
On January 8th, 2016, the plaintiff motioned for approval of settlement and certification of settlement class. On February 29, 2016, the court certified the settlement class and granted preliminary approval.
On August 25th, the court granted the approval of the final settlement agreement and found that it is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class as a whole. In the settlement Agreement, the city agreed to expend a total of $1,367,142,684 during the compliance period for program access improvement. The agreement laid out specific amount of funding for every five years that the city must spend for the next thirty years. Both parties agreed all program access improvements and new construction in the city will comply with the standards set forth in the 2010 standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act. In accordance with the settlement agreement, the court reserves exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over the plaintiffs, the settlement class members, and the City, throughout the term of the settlement agreement, for the sole purpose of supervising the implementation, enforcement, construction, and interpretation of the settlement agreement. Following the approval of the settlement agreement, the court entered the final judgment of this case, releasing all plaintiffs' claims against the City.
On August 25th, the court also granted plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees and costs. Through calculation and evidence submitted, the court awarded $10,269,745.07 in attorneys’ fees and $1,533,751.77 in costs to the plaintiffs.Sihang Zhang - 09/25/2016