Orlando Garcia – Center For Disability Access – Example Lawsuit
The following is an example lawsuit filed by serial filer Orlando Garcia, all throughout Northern California. Garcia is represented by attorneys Amanda Seabock and Dennis Price alleging “wheelchair accessible parking” was not made available. Center for Disability Access is well known for filing lawsuits under the American Disabilities Act. Garcia files in the Northern District of California Federal Court.
CENTER FOR DISABILITY ACCESS
Amanda Seabock, Esq., SBN 289900
Prathima Price, Esq., SBN 321378
Dennis Price, Esq., SBN 279082
Mail: 8033 Linda Vista Road, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 375-7385; (888) 422-5191 fax
Attorneys for Plaintiff
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Orlando Garcia Case No.
Complaint For Damages And
Injunctive Relief For Violations
Of: Americans With Disabilities
Act; Unruh Civil Rights Act
Plaintiff Orlando Garcia complains of (Your Corporation/LLC) a California Corporation, and alleges as follows:
1. Plaintiff is a California resident with physical disabilities. Plaintiff
suffers from Cerebral Palsy. He has manual dexterity issues. He cannot walk. He uses a wheelchair for mobility.
2. Defendant (Name), in an individual and representative capacity
as (Name of the owner), owned the real property located at or about (Address), California, in Month 2022.
3. Defendant (Name) in an individual and representative capacity
as (Defendant name), owns the real property located at or about (Address) California, currently.
4. Defendant (Company) owned (Name) located at or about (Address) California, in Month 2022.
5. Defendant (Corporation) owns (Name) (“Store”)
located at or about (Address), California, currently.
6. Plaintiff does not know the true names of Defendants, their business
capacities, their ownership connection to the property and business, or their
relative responsibilities in causing the access violations herein complained of, and alleges a joint venture and common enterprise by all such Defendants. Plaintiff is informed and believes that each of the Defendants herein is responsible in some capacity for the events herein alleged, or is a necessary party for obtaining appropriate relief. Plaintiff will seek or leave to amend when the true names, capacities, connections, and responsibilities of the Defendants are ascertained.
JURISDICTION & VENUE:
7. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331 and § 1343(a)(3) & (a)(4) for violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
8. Pursuant to supplemental jurisdiction, an attendant and related cause
of action, arising from the same nucleus of operative facts and arising out of the same transactions, is also brought under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which acts expressly incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
9. Venue is proper in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and is
founded on the fact that the real property which is the subject of this action is located in this district and that Plaintiff’s cause of action arose in this district.
10. Plaintiff went to the (Business) in (Date) with the intention to avail himself of its goods or services motivated in part to determine if the defendants comply with the disability access laws. Not only did Plaintiff personally encounter unlawful barriers in (Date), but he wanted
to return and patronize the business again but was specifically deterred due to his actual personal knowledge of the barriers gleaned from his encounter with them.
11. The Store is a facility open to the public, a place of public accommodation, and a business establishment.
12. Unfortunately, on the date of the plaintiff’s visit, the defendants failed
to provide wheelchair-accessible parking in conformance with the ADA
Standards as it relates to wheelchair users like the plaintiff.
13. The Store provides parking to its customers but fails to provide
wheelchair-accessible parking in conformance with ADA Standards.
14. A couple of problems that the plaintiff encountered was that there were no
van-accessible parking spaces. The only ADA parking space had a parking stall that was 107 inches in width and an access aisle that was 55 inches in width. This is not van accessible. What is more, the access aisle is not large enough for standard, smaller vehicles, either. The signage in front of the parking space was located too low. Also, the parking stall and access aisle marked and reserved for persons with disabilities had slopes that exceeded 2.1%.
15. Plaintiff believes that there are other features of the parking that likely
fail to comply with the ADA Standards and seeks to have fully compliant
parking for wheelchair users.
16. On information and belief, the defendants currently fail to provide
17. Additionally, on the date of the plaintiff’s visit, the defendants failed to
provide wheelchair-accessible paths of travel in conformance with the ADA
Standards as it relates to wheelchair users like the plaintiff.
18. The Store provides paths of travel to its customers but fails to provide
wheelchair-accessible paths of travel in conformance with the ADA Standards.
19. A problem that the plaintiff encountered was that the paths of travel inside
the Store narrowed to less than 36 inches in width in some places.
20. Plaintiff believes that there are other features of the paths of travel that
likely fail to comply with the ADA Standards and seeks to have fully compliant paths of travel for wheelchair users.
21. On information and belief, the defendants currently fail to provide
wheelchair-accessible paths of travel.
22. The failure to provide accessible facilities created difficulty and
discomfort for the Plaintiff.
23. These barriers relate to and impact the plaintiff’s disability. Plaintiff
personally encountered these barriers.
24. As a wheelchair user, the plaintiff benefits from and is entitled to use
wheelchair-accessible facilities. By failing to provide accessible facilities, the
defendants denied the plaintiff full and equal access.
25. The defendants have failed to maintain in working and useable
conditions those features required to provide ready access to persons with
26. The barriers identified above are easily removed without much difficulty or expense. They are the types of barriers identified by the Department of Justice as presumably readily achievable to remove and, in fact, these barriers are readily achievable to remove. Moreover, there are numerous
alternative accommodations that could be made to provide a greater level of
access if complete removal were not achievable.
27. Plaintiff will return to the Store to avail himself of its goods or services
and to determine compliance with the disability access laws once it is represented to him that the Store and its facilities are accessible. Plaintiff is
currently deterred from doing so because of his knowledge of the existing
barriers and his uncertainty about the existence of yet other barriers on the
site. If the barriers are not removed, the plaintiff will face unlawful and
discriminatory barriers again.
28. Given the obvious and blatant nature of the barriers and violations
alleged herein, the plaintiff alleges, on information and belief, that there are
other violations and barriers on the site that relate to his disability. Plaintiff will amend the complaint, to provide proper notice regarding the scope of this lawsuit, once he conducts a site inspection. However, please be on notice that the plaintiff seeks to have all barriers related to his disability remedied. See Doran v. 7-11, 524 F.3d 1034 (9th Cir. 2008) (holding that once a plaintiff encounters one barrier at a site, he can sue to have all barriers that relate to his disability removed regardless of whether he personally encountered them).
I. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: VIOLATION OF THE AMERICANS
WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (On behalf of Plaintiff and against all
Defendants.) (42 U.S.C. section 12101, et seq.)
29. Plaintiff re-pleads and incorporates by reference, as if fully set forth
again herein, the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this complaint.
30. Under the ADA, it is an act of discrimination to fail to ensure that the
privileges, advantages, accommodations, facilities, goods and services of any place of public accommodation is offered on a full and equal basis by anyone who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). Discrimination is defined, inter alia, as follows:
a. A failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices,
or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford
goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the accommodation would work a fundamental alteration of those services and facilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii).
b. A failure to remove architectural barriers where such removal is
readily achievable. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv). Barriers are
defined by reference to the ADA Standards.
c. A failure to make alterations in such a manner that, to the
maximum extent feasible, the altered portions of the facility are
readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities,
including individuals who use wheelchairs or to ensure that, to the
maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area and
the bathrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the
altered area, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals
with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2).
31. When a business provides parking, it must provide accessible parking.
32. Here, accessible parking has not been provided in conformance with the
33. When a business provides paths of travel, it must provide accessible paths of travel.
34. Here, accessible paths of travel have not been provided in conformance with the ADA Standards.
35. The Safe Harbor provisions of the 2010 Standards are not applicable
here because the conditions challenged in this lawsuit do not comply with the 1991 Standards.
36. A public accommodation must maintain in operable working condition
those features of its facilities and equipment that are required to be readily
accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. § 36.211(a).
37. Here, the failure to ensure that the accessible facilities were available
and ready to be used by the plaintiff is a violation of the law.
II. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: VIOLATION OF THE UNRUH CIVIL
RIGHTS ACT (On behalf of Plaintiff and against all Defendants.) (Cal. Civ.
Code § 51-53.)
38. Plaintiff repleads and incorporates by reference, as if fully set forth
again herein, the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this
complaint. The Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh Act”) guarantees, inter alia,
that persons with disabilities are entitled to full and equal accommodations,
advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of
every kind whatsoever within the jurisdiction of the State of California. Cal.
Civ. Code §51(b).
39. The Unruh Act provides that a violation of the ADA is a violation of the
Unruh Act. Cal. Civ. Code, § 51(f).
40. Defendants’ acts and omissions, as herein alleged, have violated the
Unruh Act by, inter alia, denying, or aiding, or inciting the denial of, Plaintiff’s
rights to full and equal use of the accommodations, advantages, facilities,
privileges, or services offered.
41. Because the violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act resulted in difficulty,
discomfort or embarrassment for the plaintiff, the defendants are also each responsible for statutory damages, i.e., a civil penalty. (Civ. Code § 55.56(a)-(c).)
Wherefore, Plaintiff prays that this Court award damages and provide
relief as follows:
1. For injunctive relief, compelling Defendants to comply with the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Note: the
plaintiff is not invoking section 55 of the California Civil Code and is not
seeking injunctive relief under the Disabled Persons Act at all.
2. For equitable nominal damages for violation of the ADA. See Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, — U.S. —, 2021 WL 850106 (U.S. Mar. 8, 2021) and any other equitable relief the Court sees fit to grant.
3. Damages under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides for actual
damages and a statutory minimum of $4,000 for each offense.
4. Reasonable attorney fees, litigation expenses and costs of suit, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 12205; and Cal. Civ. Code §§ 52.
Dated: Month, Day, Year
CENTER FOR DISABILITY ACCESS
Amanda Seabock, Esq.
Attorney for plaintiff