This case is one of four class action lawsuits filed in January and February 2015 by the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center alleging that four major hotel owner/operators discriminated against individuals with mobility disabilities in the provision of hotel shuttle transportation. The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center specifically charged these hotel owner/operators (RLJ Lodging Trust, Hospitality Properties Trust, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc., and Sage Hospitality Resources LLC) with violations of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and challenged the hotels' consistent failure to provide accessible options when they to chose to offer transportation services to guests.
On February 4, 2015, the plaintiffs filed this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181, et seq. ("ADA"). The plaintiffs, on behalf of the members of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center as well as a proposed class defined by ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12102, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Under the ADA, the plaintiffs argued that hotels are required to provide transportation services to their guests and to provide equivalent accessible transportation services to guests who use wheelchairs or scooters. The plaintiffs wish for the defendant to comply with the ADA by providing wheelchair-accessible transportation services that are equivalent to the transportation services provided to non disabled guests at the defendant's hotels.
On March 24, 2015, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint arguing that this case was one of four "cookie cutter" complaints filed by the plaintiff's counsel and that the Complaint should fall for referencing the wrong entity as Defendant. Additionally, the defendants argued that the plaintiff's Complaint was based on "pure speculation and guesswork," relied on conclusory allegations insufficient to establish any credible threat of immediate future harm, and did not plead a plausible basis for nationwide class relief.
On May 1, 2015, Judge Hegarty denied the defendant's motion to dismiss in light of the plaintiff's amended complaint, which was filed on March 24, 2015. Briefing on the defendant's renewed motion to dismiss will therefore proceed. As of September 29, 2015, the case is ongoing. Jenn Nelson - 09/28/2015