On October 27, 1999, disabled plaintiffs who use wheelchairs for accessibility brought a class action lawsuit against Conoco, Inc., an owner/operator of gas stations and convenience stores, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiffs charged that Conoco had ...
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On October 27, 1999, disabled plaintiffs who use wheelchairs for accessibility brought a class action lawsuit against Conoco, Inc., an owner/operator of gas stations and convenience stores, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiffs charged that Conoco had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and Colorado law because its stores had many features that obstructed accessibility, in violation of Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12182 and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, C.R.S. § 24-34-601.
Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that when they attempted to use the businesses, they encountered several obstacles, including inaccessible parking, tables, sidewalks, entrances, restrooms, aisles, and "pay-at-the-pump" controls. Both plaintiffs experienced great delay during their stops at Conoco, as employees had to rearrange fixtures and assist the plaintiffs. They sought injunctive relief, and damages pursuant to the state law.
On August 22, 2000, the court certified a class of "all persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility who, within four years of the filing of the Complaint in this case, have been denied, or are currently being denied, full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any service station or convenience store owned by Conoco, Inc."
On September 11, 2002, the court approved a five-year consent decree. The decree applied to Conoco's 124 existing corporate stores and newly acquired stores. Conoco's agreed to bring all stores into compliance with ADA regulations. The decree would begin with a pilot program for six stores, three chosen by each side. If the pilot program was successful, Conoco would begin renovating its other stores, one fourth of the total stores every nine months. An independent expert would evaluate the stores. Conoco agreed to pay the expert's fees of $1000 per store visit plus costs. Conoco also agreed to develop personnel training policies, do its own periodic checks for disabled access, to allow customers to submit comment cards, and to forward these cards to class counsel. Additionally, Conoco paid $8,000 each to the two named plaintiffs and $150,000 in attorney's fees.
On November 14, 2008, the court approved a stipulated order of dismissal.Denise Heberle - 03/27/2012