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Case Name Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill DR-CA-0034
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-02671 ( S.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 3:05-CV-01660-J-WMC  [ 05-1660 ]
13-cv-01831-BTM-WMC  [ 13-1831 ]
08-55867  [ 08-55867 ]
08-55946  [ 08-55946 ]
09-55327  [ 09-55327 ]
09-55425  [ 09-55435 ]
14-56730  [ 14-56730 ]
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On Dec. 6, 2006, several individuals with mobility issues who used wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility devices filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Chipotle restaurants, alleging violations of (1) the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 ... read more >
On Dec. 6, 2006, several individuals with mobility issues who used wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility devices filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Chipotle restaurants, alleging violations of (1) the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq; (2) the California Public Accommodation Law, California Civil Code §§51, 52, and 54, et seq; (3) the California Health And Safety Code § 19950. The plaintiffs sought declaratory judgment, an injunction ordering defendants to cease violations of and modify restaurants to become compliant with the statutes; statutory damages; compensatory damages; and attorneys' fees and costs.

The plaintiffs alleged that the 44-inch wall separating customers from the food preparation area in the defendant's restaurants only permitted non-wheelchair-using customers to view the ingredients and watch the construction of their burritos. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had an unwritten policy that employees were permitted, but not required, to raise ingredients (either in spoons, a small cup, or in the pan) above the wall to make them visible to wheelchair-using customers, who were otherwise unable to see them. The defendant also permitted employees to place samples of food items in small cups, place them on a tray, and construct the burrito on the (lower) cashier counter or on an adjacent dining table, so that the wheelchair-using customer could view the making of their burrito. The plaintiffs alleged that this was "unfair, humiliating, and degrading" and denied them the true "Chipotle experience." The case was assigned to the calendar of Magistrate Judge Louisa S. Porter.

On Jan. 11, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a notice of related case. One of the plaintiffs in this case had also sued the defendant in Aug. 2005 as an individual, based on similar legal issues. See Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Case No. 3:05-cv-01660. The plaintiffs requested that the present case be reassigned to District Judge Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. and Magistrate Judge William McCurine, Jr., who had both already been assigned to the first-filed individual case. The motion was granted and the case was transferred on Jan. 24, 2007.

On Jan. 12, 2007, the defendant moved to dismiss the individual case or in the alternative, to consolidate it with this case. On Mar. 20, 2007, Judge Jones denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the individual case and granted their motion to consolidate for purposes of discovery only, leaving open the question of consolidation for trial.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 23, 2007, the defendant had implemented a written nationwide "Customers with Disabilities" policy ("the Policy"), and formally began training its employees on the policy between March and May 2007. Among other things, the Policy required managers to greet disabled customers and ask them whether they required accommodations, and instructed managers and crew that efficiency was secondary to ensuring a positive experience for disabled customers.

Both parties moved for summary judgment in the individual case, and on June 7, 2007, the court ordered that discovery be stayed until after Judge Jones issued his rulings on the cross motions for summary judgment in the individual case.

On June 17, 2007, the court granted in part and denied in part partial summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims in the individual case.

On Sept. 6, 2007, the defendant moved to consolidate the individual and putative class action cases for trial, but the motion was denied on Sept. 7, 2007. At this time, the individual case was already ready for trial, and this case was still in the formative stages. The Court thus found that consolidation for purposes of trial was not merited because the potential for delay and prejudice outweighed any savings of time or effort. 2007 WL 2669531 (Sept. 7, 2007).

In the individual case, a four-day bench trial was held in late November and early December 2007. On Jan. 10, 2008, Judge Jones concluded that the defendant's prior practice of informally accommodating customers had been insufficient to comply with the ADA, but that the Policy was sufficient. The court also found that the plaintiff was not entitled to an injunction requiring the defendant to lower the wall, but that the plaintiff was entitled to $5,000 in damages for the occasions on which he encountered barriers to his entrance into the restaurants. 2008 WL 111052 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 10, 2008). In April or May 2008, the plaintiff appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the defendant cross-appealed.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 28, 2009, the parties in this case jointly moved to stay the case until the final resolution of the individual case, and their motion was granted on Oct. 30, 2009. On Dec. 7, 2009, both cases were reassigned to Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz.

On Aug. 19, 2010, the Court lifted the stay in this case, finding that the individual case had largely concluded. On Sept. 1, 2010, the defendant filed a motion to reimpose the stay, but this was denied on Oct. 27, 2010.

Meanwhile, in the individual case, after a hearing on Nov. 16, 2010, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's decision that the Policy was compliant with the ADA, finding that the Policy was not equivalent because the “substitute experience” for disabled customers lacked the customers’ personal participation in the selection and preparation of the food that the full “Chipotle Experience” furnished and, therefore, violated the ADA. The Ninth Circuit remanded to the district court to determine the scope of injunctive relief necessary to remedy the plaintiff's inability to view the food preparation counters.

On Jan. 13, 2011, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, which was deemed to be filed on Jan. 10, 2011.

On Feb. 11, 2011, the court ordered an order regulating discovery and other pretrial dates, including a mandatory settlement conference that was to be held on June 20, 2011 in the chambers of Magistrate Judge William McCurine, Jr.

On Apr. 18, 2011, the lead plaintiff filed a motion for class certification. On July 12, 2011, the parties jointly moved to vacate the settlement conference until after the court had ruled on the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, and the motion was granted the same day.

Meanwhile, the lead plaintiff had died on May 9, 2011, and on May 20, 2011, his widow and successor in interest to the claim filed a motion to substitute the plaintiff. The court granted the motion on July 25, 2011.

On August 28, 2012, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification without prejudice. The court found that the plaintiffs' claims for injunctive and declaratory relief were moot, because the defendant had already lowered the height of their counters in California restaurants and the Ninth Circuit had already held that the counter heights had been in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines ("ADAAG"). Thus, a class action would not be superior to other available methods for adjudication. 2012 WL 3762440 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 28, 2012).

On Sept. 11, 2012, the plaintiffs moved for reconsideration and/or clarification. On Jan. 14, 2013, Judge Moskowitz issued an order denying the motion for reconsideration, granting the motion for clarification, and scheduling trial to begin on July 8, 2013. 2013 WL 149722 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2013).

On Feb. 6, 2013, the court issued a new order regulating discovery and other pretrial dates.

On Mar. 13, 2013, both parties moved for a 60-day continuance on the trial date and pre-trial deadlines, stating that they had been engaged in global settlement discussions regarding (1) the claims of all plaintiffs in this case, (2) the claims of all plaintiffs in the related class action Perkins v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Case No. 13-cv-01831-BTM, which was stayed in the Central District of California, and (3) the claims of individual plaintiffs in thirteen state court actions, and intended to consolidate the Perkins class action and various related state court actions with the current case to facilitate a global settlement. The parties had reached a tentative agreement currently being reviewed by the defendant and all of the plaintiffs in the various aforementioned actions. They stated that they hoped to file a joint motion for approval of their proposed global settlement by Mar. 29, 2013. This motion was granted on Mar. 14, 2013.

On May 10, 2013, the parties filed a joint motion for another 60-day continuance, stating that they had made “significant headway” toward a global settlement but were still exploring various issues. On May 20, 2013, the court granted the motion, extending the discovery and trial deadlines, and setting the trial date for November 18, 2013.

On June 19, 2013, a status conference took place, and the court ordered the parties to give notice to potential class members by e-mailing to disabled rights organizations and posting on the defendant’s website a notice saying that class certification had been denied and that the plaintiffs intended to settle the case and not appeal the denial.

On July 19, 2013, the parties filed a joint motion to amend the complaint to add new plaintiffs, and the court granted the motion on July 23, 2013.

On Aug. 14, 2013, the parties moved for approval of notice to the putative class regarding settlement. They had finalized settlement and stipulated to the language of the notice to be posted on the defendant’s website. On Aug. 20, 2013, the court granted the motion.

On Sept. 27, 2013, the parties filed a joint motion to retain jurisdiction to determine attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and to interpret and enforce the settlement agreement that they had reached. On Oct. 3, 2013, the district court granted the parties’ joint motion to retain jurisdiction.

On Nov. 12, 2013, the court issued an order stating that the settlement notice approved by the court had adequately protected the claims of the putative class members, such that its dismissal without prejudice would not infringe upon the rights of putative class members. Accordingly, it ordered that any joint motion for consolidation of Perkins and the present case and for dismissal should be filed within seven calendar days.

On Nov. 19, 2013, the plaintiffs in both Perkins and in this case as well as the defendant filed a joint motion to consolidate cases, for retention of jurisdiction by the court, and dismissal of the consolidated action. The parties also requested that the district court retain jurisdiction over the consolidated cases, even after dismissal for purposes of interpreting and enforcing the settlement agreement. Finally, contingent on the court consolidation of the two cases, the parties also jointly requested that the court dismiss the claims in the consolidated action.

On Dec. 3, 2013, the court granted the motion, consolidating Perkins and the present case, retaining its jurisdiction over the consolidated action even after dismissal, incorporating the settlement agreement, and finally dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice and dismissing the claims of putative class members without prejudice.

On Jan. 31, 2014, this case was transferred from Magistrate Judge McCurine to Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick. Then, on Mar. 28, 2014, the case was transferred to Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt.

On Dec. 2, 2013, the plaintiffs had filed a motion seeking attorneys’ fees and costs of $1,671,197.27, plus fees. On Sept. 29, 2014, the motion was granted in part and denied in part. The court found that the plaintiffs could have achieved the same result without their pursuit of class certification, injunctive relief, and thus reduced the award to account for the excessive time spent on class certification. The court awarded $317,927.50 in attorneys’ fees and $19,824.77 in costs to the plaintiffs, for a total of $337,752.27, and the case was ordered closed. 49 F.Supp.3d 710 (S.D. Cal. 2014).

One plaintiff appealed the award of attorneys’ fees to the Ninth Circuit on Oct. 27, 2014. On June 9, 2015, the Ninth Circuit denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the appeal. On Sept. 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit panel unanimously found the case suitable for decision without oral argument, and ordered that the case be submitted on the briefs and record on Oct. 20, 2016.

On Jan. 4, 2017, a panel consisting of United States Circuit Judge Morgan B. Christen and United States Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as well as Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sitting by designation, reviewed the district court’s award of attorneys’ fees and costs for abuse of discretion. Finding no abuse of discretion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the award, with costs awarded to the defendant.

As of Feb. 3, 2018, the case appears to be closed.

Eric Weiler - 06/07/2010
Matt Ramirez - 08/04/2016
Elizabeth Greiter - 02/03/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Restaurant
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Barrier Removal
Bathrooms
Disparate Treatment
Parking
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs sought to represent “all persons with mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs or motorized mobility aides, who have been or will be denied their rights under the ADA and state law to access goods, services, benefits, advantages, privileges and accommodations provided by Chipotle at its approximately 83 restaurants within the state of California.”
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing DR-CA-0033 : Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill (S.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
3:05−cv−01660−BTM−WMC (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/04/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Class Action Complaint] [ECF# 1] (2006 WL 4034053)
DR-CA-0034-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/06/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s Answer And Affirmative Defenses [ECF# 3]
DR-CA-0034-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/28/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s Answer and Affirmative Defenses [ECF# 3]
DR-CA-0034-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/28/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice and Order Regarding Early Neutral Evaluation [ECF# 7] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/05/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order: (1) Denying Defendants' Motion To Dismiss Case No. 05CV1660-J (WMC); (2) Granting Defendants' Motion To Consolidate For Purposes Of Discovery Only [ECF# 12] (2007 WL 935623) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/20/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Following Early Neutral Evaluation Conference, Setting Rule 26 Compliance and Notice of Case Management Conference [ECF# 13] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Defendant's Ex Parte Motion] (2007 WL 2669531) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0026.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/07/2007
Source: Westlaw
Order [Adjudicating Various Discovery Motions Of Both Parties] (2007 WL 3333109) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/08/2007
Source: Westlaw
Order: (1) Adopting Joint Proposed Legal Standards . . . ; (2) Summarily Dismissing Plaintiff's Supplemental Legal Standards . . . ; Adopting In Part And Dismissing In Part Defendant's Supplemental Legal Standards (2007 WL 4162804) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/19/2007
Source: Westlaw
Order Granting Joint Motion Re: Stay Of Action Pending Appeal In Related Case [ECF# 32] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 62-1] (643 F.3d 1165)
DR-CA-0034-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/26/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 61]
DR-CA-0034-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/10/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Protective Order [ECF# 77] (2011 WL 8831149) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0020.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/17/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order [ECF# 83] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting in part and denying in part Chipotle's Motion to Compel] [ECF# 99] (2011 WL 1522449) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/21/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting Chipotle's Motion to Compel] [ECF# 118] (2011 WL 2003292) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/23/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class, Appointment of Class Representatives and Appointment of Class Counsel [ECF# 145] (2012 WL 3762440) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/28/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration and Granting in Part Motion for Clarification [ECF# 151] (2013 WL 149722) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/14/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 171-1]
DR-CA-0034-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Notice of Settlement [ECF# 174]
DR-CA-0034-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/20/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [regarding joint motion and dismissal] [ECF# 181] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/12/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 182]
DR-CA-0034-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/19/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees & Costs [ECF# 210] (49 F.Supp.3d 710) (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Attorney Fees [ECF# 210] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Civil Case [ECF# 211] (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Friedman, Daniel Mortimer (Fed. Circuit, )
DR-CA-0034-0013
Jones, Napoleon A. Jr. (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0003 | DR-CA-0034-0004 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0026
McCurine, William Jr. (S.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0034-0012 | DR-CA-0034-0020 | DR-CA-0034-0021 | DR-CA-0034-0022 | DR-CA-0034-0023
Moskowitz, Barry Ted (S.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0034-0005 | DR-CA-0034-0006 | DR-CA-0034-0014 | DR-CA-0034-0017 | DR-CA-0034-0018 | DR-CA-0034-0024
Porter, Louisa S. (S.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0034-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Vandeveld, Amy B. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0001 | DR-CA-0034-0007 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0016 | DR-CA-0034-0025 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Vandeveld, Thomas Joseph III (California)
DR-CA-0034-0025
Defendant's Lawyers Cavanagh, Charles C. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-0025 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Christensen, Kent Roger (California)
DR-CA-0034-9001
Evans, Melinda (California)
DR-CA-0034-9001
Groves, Matthew R. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-9001
Hafer, Edward J. (Colorado)
DR-CA-0034-9001
Herter, Stacey L. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0002 | DR-CA-0034-0011 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Herzog, Jonathan J. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Hurley, Gregory F. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0002 | DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-0011 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Scalia, John Francis (Virginia)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Sorensen, Matthew (Virginia)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001
Sugden, David R. (California)
DR-CA-0034-9001
Vu, Jeanne Uyen (California)
DR-CA-0034-0008 | DR-CA-0034-0009
Weston, William S. (California)
DR-CA-0034-0009 | DR-CA-0034-9001

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