Case: Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyn's

02-51738 | California state trial court

Filed Date: May 21, 2002

Closed Date: June 30, 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case was brought in California state court in 2002 against the owners and operators of a chain of department stores by the non-profit advocacy group, Californians for Disability Rights ("CDR"). Represented by Disability Rights Advocates, CDR claimed the pathways between fixtures and shelves in the stores were too clogged to permit access by persons who use mobility aids, such as scooters, wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers. The plaintiff claimed that the store's refusal to create access to…

This case was brought in California state court in 2002 against the owners and operators of a chain of department stores by the non-profit advocacy group, Californians for Disability Rights ("CDR"). Represented by Disability Rights Advocates, CDR claimed the pathways between fixtures and shelves in the stores were too clogged to permit access by persons who use mobility aids, such as scooters, wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers. The plaintiff claimed that the store's refusal to create access to its merchandise violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA").

After a bench trial, the court (Judge Needham) found that the store had denied access to persons with disabilities, but that widening pathways would result in a loss of selling space and profit. The store had argued that barrier removal could not be "readily achieved" and gave as evidence the alleged loss of $70 million in annual sales and up to $30 million in profits, figures arrived at through a nine-month study in which they complied with the law. Rather, it opened remote stores that were accessible. The trial court found that solution adequate.

Following litigation concerning the effect of California Proposition 64's new limitations on, the California Supreme Court ruled on July 24, 2006 that the case could go forward. 39 Cal.4th 223, 227 (2006)

On remand, a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal unanimously held on July 30, 2008, that the plaintiff had proved a violation of the ADA. Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyn's LLC, Cal. Ct. App., No. A106199. The court held that the store must make its merchandise available to disabled individuals, and that it did not meet its obligation by constructing new and geographically distant stores that are accessible. The court remanded to the trial court for consideration of appropriate alternative means for making merchandise available to disabled individuals who are denied physical access.

The trial docket of this case does not show any subsequent activity, so we have no further information.

Summary Authors

Joshua Arocho (8/1/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Baxter, Marvin R. (California)

Chin, Ming W. (California)

Corrigan, Carol A. (California)

George, Ronald M. (California)

Kennard, Joyce L. (California)

Moreno, Carlos R. (California)

Reardon, Timothy A. (California)

Ruvolo, Ignazio J. (California)

Sepulveda, Patricia K. (California)

Werdegar, Kathryn M. (California)

Judge(s)

Baxter, Marvin R. (California)

Chin, Ming W. (California)

Corrigan, Carol A. (California)

George, Ronald M. (California)

Kennard, Joyce L. (California)

Moreno, Carlos R. (California)

Reardon, Timothy A. (California)

Ruvolo, Ignazio J. (California)

Sepulveda, Patricia K. (California)

Werdegar, Kathryn M. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

McDowell, David F. (California)

Olivier, Monique (California)

Paradis, Laurence W. (California)

Sturdevant, James C. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Vaclavik, Kathryn Ann (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Leviant, Howard Scott (California)

Osborne, Thomas W. (District of Columbia)

Parker, Warrington Samuel (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyns, LLC

California state supreme court

March 27, 2007 Docket

Opinion (California Supreme Court)

Californians for Disabilty Rights v. Mervyn's, LLC

California state supreme court

138 P.3d 207

July 24, 2006 Order/Opinion

Opinion on Remand (California Court of Appeal)

California state appellate court

165 Cal.App.4th 571

July 29, 2008 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 21, 2002

Closing Date: June 30, 2008

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individuals with physical disabilites who cannot access merchandise at defendant's department store due to the crowding of aisles by movable fixtures.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Mervyn's LLC, Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Retailer

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Barrier Removal

Buildings

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Modifications

Retail Shopping

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Mobility impairment

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit