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Sloppy Disabled Access Claim
by Ron Davis

Lack of a viable argument has apparently doomed any chance that a California shopping center customer will achieve a goal he has set. That goal is to force the tenant’s owners to recognize his special needs.

When bringing the matter to a California court, the customer claimed that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as supplement state-law claims, he is eligible for special consideration.

The defendant in the matter owns a donut shop at the shopping center. And the customer singled her out, saying that the donut shop is not accessible to him. The owner of the shop rejected that accusation (for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.)

The plaintiff argues that his disability requires the use of a wheelchair. Also, he says he drives or rides in a specially designed van. He added that the store’s “services facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations” are unavailable to him.

Problems arose over at least two other subjects. And one primary difficulty apparently became foremost. First, the plaintiff complaint points to a lack of helpful signage at the major entrance to the center.

He also points to a lack of signage at the disabled parking area. Finally, the complaint includes a failure to designate a van assessable and ramp that he says is too steep.

And that is not all. The plaintiff argued with regards to failure to comply with certain state laws. The defendant pointed out, such laws are the jurisdiction of state not federal courts.

In conclusion, the court noted that the plaintiff is being deterred from returning to the center, and his difficulty is not based on factual allegations. Rather, they are raised arguments concerning Strong’s failure to comply with certain rules.

The ruling is that “the complaint fails to identify any barriers specifically, except for three in the parking lot. It fails to allege that defendant owns or leases the parking lot, or that he is in some other way responsible for violations. It fails to allege facts, as opposed to conclusions about…and it fails to establish a standing to seek to accessible parking. The complaint also fails to allege facts showing that Strong either intends to return to Miss Donuts, or that the barriers he knows are deterring him from returning.

The ruling: “Defendant’s motion to dismiss is granted in part. The complaint is dismissed without prejudice (for failure to state a federal claim.)

(Matt Strong v. Diane E. Johnson, Trustee of the Diane E Johnson Trust, Case No. 16cv1289 –LAB (JMA))

Decision: May 2017
Published: May 2017



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