Case: Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) v. Hospitality Properties Trust

3:15-cv-00221 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: Jan. 15, 2015

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Case Summary

On January 15, 2015, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), along with three individual plaintiffs, brought this action against Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT), Inc., which operates 35 hotels in the state of California, as well as many hotels elsewhere in the United States. Plaintiffs alleged that HPT violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by failing to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles at its hotels. Plaintiffs req…

On January 15, 2015, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), along with three individual plaintiffs, brought this action against Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT), Inc., which operates 35 hotels in the state of California, as well as many hotels elsewhere in the United States. Plaintiffs alleged that HPT violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by failing to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles at its hotels. Plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction requiring HPT to comply with the two aforementioned statutes. The case was assigned to Judge Jon S. Tigar.

The three individual plaintiffs all require wheelchairs for mobility. Each claimed in the complaint that he or she was deterred from staying at HPT's hotels around California by HPT's lack of wheel-chair accessible shuttle services. All three plaintiffs stated that they hoped to stay at HPT's hotels in the future and would do so if they learn that HPT does provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

On November 12, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, in which they defined the class as “Individuals who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility who, since January 15, 2013, have been, or in the future will be, denied the full and equal enjoyment of transportation services offered to guests at hotels owned and/or operated by Hospitality Properties Trust because of the lack of equivalent accessible transportation services at those hotels.”

On January 13, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

On April 15, 2016, Judge Tigar denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification, finding that the plaintiffs failed to meet commonality, typicality and FRCP §23(b)(2) requirement. 317 F.R.D. 91. On May 6, 2016, the plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit, and the parties agreed to stay the case until the Ninth Circuit's decision. The Ninth Circuit granted the plaintiffs' petition to hear the appeal on July 27, 2016.

On April 11, 2017, the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court's decision to deny class certification. 867 F.3d 1093.

Back in district court, the parties prepared for the discovery and dispositions. On September 4, 2018, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that there was no dispute of facts and the only issue here was whether the defendant qualified as “a private entity which operates” a fixed route or demand responsive system under ADA. On February 26, 2019, Judge Tigar denied this motion, finding that any private entity that provides a transportation service itself or by a person under a contractual or other arrangement or relationship with the entity was qualified and the defendant could be such an entity. 2019 WL 935134.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on May 14, 2019. In June 2019, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Susan van Kuelen for mandatory settlement negotiations. By January 2020, the parties reached a settlement. The Clearinghouse does not have access to the settlement, but according to CREEC, HPT agreed to provide transportation at the covered hotels that complied with the ADA. The court dismissed the case with prejudice on January 31, 2020. The Clearinghouse does not know how long the settlement agreement will remain in effect.

Summary Authors

Spencer Klein (2/23/2015)

Chiaki Nojiri (3/1/2019)

Alex Moody (5/26/2020)

Related Cases

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. RLJ Lodging Trust, Northern District of California (2015)

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Ashford Hospitality Trust, Northern District of California (2015)

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Sage Hospitality Resources LLC, District of Colorado (2015)

People


Judge(s)

Kleinfeld, Andrew Jay (Alaska)

Ryu, Donna Miae (California)

Tigar, Jon Steven (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Benham-Baker, Hillary Jo (California)

Campins, Julia (California)

Dardarian, Linda M. (California)

Davidson, Joshua (California)

Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)

Lam, Linda Pham (California)

Judge(s)

Kleinfeld, Andrew Jay (Alaska)

Ryu, Donna Miae (California)

Tigar, Jon Steven (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Benham-Baker, Hillary Jo (California)

Campins, Julia (California)

Dardarian, Linda M. (California)

Davidson, Joshua (California)

Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado)

Lam, Linda Pham (California)

Lee, Bill Lann (California)

Morris, Sarah (Colorado)

Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)

Wendell, Raymond Alexander (California)

Wilensky, Julie H. (California)

Williams, Kevin William (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Amar, Dipanwita Deb (California)

Choi, Kathleen Jenny (California)

Friday, Ki'Jhana R. (California)

Furey, Jennifer B (Massachusetts)

Horvitz, Matthew P (Massachusetts)

Korsunsky, Mariana (Massachusetts)

Raizman, David H. (California)

Wong, Christopher Frank (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Cupolo−Freeman v. Hospitality Properties Trus

Jan. 31, 2020 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint For Declaratory And Injunctive Relief

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

Jan. 15, 2015 Complaint
38

Plaintiffs' First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

Aug. 3, 2015 Complaint
88

Order Denying Motion for Class Certification

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

317 F.R.D. 91

April 15, 2016 Order/Opinion
52

Opinion

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

867 F.3d 1093

Aug. 9, 2017 Order/Opinion
107

Opinion

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Aug. 11, 2017 Order/Opinion
142

Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

2019 WL 935134

Feb. 26, 2019 Order/Opinion
160

Plaintiffs' Second Amended and Supplemental Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Cupolo-Freeman v. Hospitality Properties Trust

May 14, 2019 Complaint
200

Stipulation For Dismissal With Prejudice

Cupolo-Freeman v. Hospitality Properties Trust

Jan. 31, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Hotel Transportation: Hospitality Properties Trust

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

CCDC is joining the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) and the law firms of Lewis, Feinberg, Lee & Jackson, Lee, P.C. and Campins Benham-Baker, LLP in California litigation against… Nov. 27, 2017 http://www.ccdconline.org/...

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 15, 2015

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center is an organization that, among other things, works to ensure that persons with disabilities participate in our nation's civic life without discrimination. The three individual plaintiffs are CREEC members who require wheelchair accessible vehicles. The proposed class consists of individuals who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility who have been, or will be, denied full equal enjoyment of defendant's hotels.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Hospitality Properties Trust, Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Transportation

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Disparate Treatment

Reasonable Accommodations

Transportation

Discrimination-area:

Accommodation / Leave

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Mobility impairment

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit