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Case Name Center for Independent Living v. Wal-Mart Stores DR-CA-0038
Docket / Court 3:12-cv-03885-CRB ( N.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:12−cv−10015  [ 12-10015 ]
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On July 25, 2012, the Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit disability advocacy and support organization, along with several named individual plaintiffs with disabilities necessitating the use of wheelchairs or scooters filed this class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart in the U.S. District ... read more >
On July 25, 2012, the Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit disability advocacy and support organization, along with several named individual plaintiffs with disabilities necessitating the use of wheelchairs or scooters filed this class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The plaintiffs alleged that the store's refusal to provide wheelchair-accessible point-of-sale (POS) terminals at many of its California stores, when accessible alternatives were readily available, constituted illegal discrimination against people with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code, and the California Disabled Persons Act. The plaintiffs claimed that Wal-Mart's use of completely inaccessible POS systems, its refusal to install accessible alternatives, and its failure to provide a paper-printout alternative to the POS system for signature functions and information conveyance constituted an ongoing and systemic pattern and practice of discrimination. Wal-Mart had been informed at least as early as 2005 that its POS terminals were inaccessible. The plaintiffs sought an injunction enjoining future violations of the ADA and the Unruh Act, an injunction ensuring wheelchair and scooter users full and equal access to POS terminals, money damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

On August 13, 2012, a separate class-action suit was filed in California state court with substantially similar allegations, but including specific allegations involving Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores as well (Partida v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.). Wal-Mart moved to have the second case removed to federal court because it involved issues arising under federal law (the ADA). This motion was granted on November 21, 2012. Wal-Mart then filed an unopposed motion to have the two cases consolidated, which was granted. The cases were consolidated for all purposes on April 3, 2013.

On April 12, 2013, United States District Judge Charles R. Breyer granted a motion filed by the Center for Independent Living's attorneys, appointing them as interim class counsel for the plaintiffs.

The parties then pursued a mediated settlement. On June 18, 2013, Judge Breyer approved a motion granting a ninety-day stay pending further mediation. He later granted six additional orders staying the case as the parties continued to pursue a settlement.

On January 23, 2017, Judge Breyer entered an order dismissing the case and retaining jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement stipulated that specified Wal-Mart locations must include Point of Sale (POS) devices accessible to individuals with disabilities. The settlement further required training of Wal-Mart employees, internal monitoring, and reporting to the plaintiffs' counsel. The agreement was to conclude when the last new POS device was installed in the specified facilities, two years after the settlement went into effect.

Alex Colbert-Taylor - 06/26/2013
Gabriela Hybel - 03/27/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Retailer
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Retail Shopping
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) Wal-Mart
Plaintiff Description Organizational plaintiff, Center for Independent Living, and named plaintiff filing on behalf of class consisting of disabled Wal-Mart shoppers who use wheelchairs or scooters alleging discriminatory impact resulting from inaccessible POS terminals.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2019
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:13-cv-00305-CRB (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:12−cv−03885 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint (Class Action)
DR-CA-0038-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2012
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Defendant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s Notice of Removal of Civil Action From State Court [ECF# 1]
DR-CA-0038-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Certification as to Interested Parties and FRCP 7.1 Corporate Disclosures [ECF# 2]
DR-CA-0038-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation and Motion for Administrative Relief from General Order no. 56 to Permit Parties to Pursue Alternative Settlement Procedures; Order [ECF# 13] (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion Requesting Appointment of Interim Class Counsel Pursuant to Rule 23(G) [ECF# 27] (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendant Wal-Mart Store, Inc.'s Notice of Motion and Motion to Consolidate Cases Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 [ECF# 34] (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation to Modify November 2012 Order and Order Thereon [ECF# 30] (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/25/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Non-Class Settlement Agreement and Release [ECF# 89-1]
DR-CA-0038-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0003 | DR-CA-0038-0004 | DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Campins, Julia (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Chuang, Christine (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Knestrick, Kevin M. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Mayerson, Arlene Brynne (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Mehrban, Julie (California)
DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Paradis, Laurence W. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Smith, Mary-Lee Kimber (California)
DR-CA-0038-9000
Wakschlag, Shira T. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Weaver, Meredith Jayne (California)
DR-CA-0038-9000
Williford, Rebecca S. (California)
DR-CA-0038-0008 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Worthman, Catha (California)
DR-CA-0038-0001 | DR-CA-0038-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Earnest, Mark Easton (California)
DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Naeve, Robert A (California)
DR-CA-0038-0002 | DR-CA-0038-0006 | DR-CA-0038-0007 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001
Zadravecz, Steven Mark (California)
DR-CA-0038-0005 | DR-CA-0038-0008 | DR-CA-0038-9000 | DR-CA-0038-9001

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