University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Kurlander v. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment DR-CO-0026
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-02754-WYD-NYW ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On November 10, 2016, the plaintiff, a deaf Colorado woman, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff sued Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC—the company which manages the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO—on behalf of herself and all Pepsi Center ... read more >
On November 10, 2016, the plaintiff, a deaf Colorado woman, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff sued Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC—the company which manages the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO—on behalf of herself and all Pepsi Center patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. The plaintiff, represented by the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, sought declaratory and injunctive relief on the basis that the Pepsi Center, by failing to provide captioning or other communication services to deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons, had violated Title III of the ADA.

The plaintiff filed an official motion for class certification on March 22, 2017. The complaint defined the class as "all Pepsi Center patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and unable to hear using assistive listening devices, who have been since November 10, 2014, or in the future will be, denied full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, advantages or accommodations of the Pepsi Center based on Defendant's failure to provide close captioning of aural content. The defendants opposed this motion on April 20, 2017.

On August 31, 2017, the Court (Judge Wiley Y. Daniel) ruled on the motion for certification in favor of the plaintiffs. The court adopted the plaintiff's proposed class definition and agreed that the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center would stay on as class counsel. 276 F. Supp. 3d 1077.

After the certification of the class, the parties started negotiating a consent decree. On December 29, 2017, the plaintiff filed an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of the class consent decree Less than two weeks later, the Court approved the preliminary consent decree, subject to a fairness hearing to be held on April 5, 2018. The court held that the preliminary consent decree was satisfactory because it (1) provided for open captioning; (2) ordered that a third-party consultant monitor the quality of that captioning; and (3) provided for notice of captioning services online.

Approximately a week before the fairness hearing, the plaintiffs moved for final improvement of the class action settlement and for attorneys' fees and costs. The fairness hearing was held on April 5, 2018. The very same day, the court issued a minute order granting final approval of the class action settlement and the motion for attorneys' fees and costs.

On April 13, 2018, the court issued more detailed orders. First, the plaintiffs' attorneys were to receive $156,104.00 in fees and $5,637.52 in costs. Second, all nonclass claims pertinent to the Pepsi Center's lack of aural services were dismissed. Finally, the consent decree was approved. Before the start of the Colorado Avalanche's first preseason game (September 19, 2018), the Pepsi Center was to provide captioning for all prerecorded lyrics and content, to be displayed on four LED screens in four corners of the arena. The Pepsi Center also needed to provide information regarding the new captioning services on signage around the center, in printed materials, and online. A third-party monitor was required to retained at the Pepsi Center's own expense in order to ensure the quality of the captioning—transcription accuracy was to be maintained at a minimum 90%. Monitoring was to last three years or until all disputes were terminated, whichever was later. Finally, the Pepsi Center was required to train its employees on and about these new services.

The court retained jurisdiction to ensure the enforcement of the consent decree for the duration of the term.

Megan Brown - 05/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Movie Theater or Other Entertainment facility
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Reasonable Accommodations
Record-keeping
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
TTY/Close Captioning/etc.
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) The Pepsi Center
Plaintiff Description All Pepsi Center patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and unable to hear using assistive listening devices, who have been since November 10, 2014, or in the future will be, denied full and equal protection of the goods, services, facilities,, advantages, or accommodations of the Pepsi Center based on Defendant's failure to provide close captioning of aural content.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2018 - 2021
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:16-cv-02754-WYD-NYW (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-CO-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/10/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 14]
DR-CO-0026-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Class Classification [ECF# 55] (276 F.Supp.3d 1077) (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0026-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/31/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs [ECF# 73] (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0026-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 77]
DR-CO-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Daniel, Wiley Young (D. Colo.)
DR-CO-0026-0001 | DR-CO-0026-0004 | DR-CO-0026-0005 | DR-CO-0026-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
DR-CO-0026-0001 | DR-CO-0026-0002 | DR-CO-0026-0003 | DR-CO-0026-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hazen, Laura J. (Colorado)
DR-CO-0026-9000
Klopman, Susan Penniman (Colorado)
DR-CO-0026-0001 | DR-CO-0026-9000

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