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Case Name Blanks v. AMC Entertainment DR-CA-0059
Docket / Court 4:16-cv-00765-YGR ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Case Summary
On February 16, 2016 two California organizations—the California Council of the Blind and the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired—and four individuals with visual impairments filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs ... read more >
On February 16, 2016 two California organizations—the California Council of the Blind and the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired—and four individuals with visual impairments filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that AMC Entertainment violated Title III of the ADA by not providing the proper headsets to accommodate its blind patrons. Some plaintiffs claimed they had been denied access to any audio description equipment. Other plaintiffs claimed that when they were provided audio description equipment, the equipment would fail during the movie, preventing the plaintiffs from enjoying the film. Represented by Disability Rights Advocates and Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, the plaintiffs sought declaratory relief and an injunction requiring the defendants to provide properly functioning audio description equipment and services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The case was originally assigned to Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Lapotre. On May 31, 2016 the case was reassigned to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who presided over the rest of the proceedings.

Starting on May 11, 2016 a mediator led settlement discussions between the parties out of court. They reached a settlement in April 2017 and filed a motion to dismiss the case. Judge Rogers granted the order on April 27, 2017.

The settlement required that the defendant make reasonable and diligent efforts to maintain Descriptive Narration Equipment in its theaters and replace any malfunctioning equipment. The defendants were also required to train employees on availability of Descriptive Narration Equipment, including step by step guidelines for setting up the equipment and instruction to test the equipment weekly. The plaintiffs were also awarded attorneys' fees and costs.

The court will continue to monitor the terms of the agreement until April 21, 2019.

Amanda Stephens - 01/27/2019


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reasonable Accommodation
Training
Defendant-type
Movie Theater or Other Entertainment facility
Disability
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Reasonable Accommodations
TTY/Close Captioning/Videophone/etc.
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Non-court arbitration/mediation
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) AMC Entertainment
Plaintiff Description Two California nonprofits for individuals who are blind or visually impaired and four blind individuals.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
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 Private Settlement Agreement
Conditional Dismissal
Order Duration 2017 - 2019
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:16-cv-00765 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0059-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/04/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-CA-0059-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Release [ECF# 64]
DR-CA-0059-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2017
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
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Judges Rogers, Yvonne Gonzalez (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0002 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Galvan, Ernest (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0001 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Marks, Julia Zoog (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0001 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Nunez, Michael S (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0001 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Paradis, Laurence W. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0001 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Riess, Melissa (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-9000
Williford, Rebecca S. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-0001 | DR-CA-0059-9000
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burns, M. Brett (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0059-9000

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