Filed Date: March 20, 2019
Closed Date: Oct. 1, 2019
Clearinghouse coding complete
In February 2016, two individuals with mobility disabilities notified the City of Colorado Springs that the City’s policy regarding pedestrian right-of-ways discriminated against people with disabilities by denying them access to the right-of-ways and other public programs and services accessible through the right-of-ways. On August 4, 2016, the plaintiffs and the City entered into a structured negotiations agreement that tolled the statute of limitations on the plaintiffs’ claims. The parties then negotiated a detailed class action settlement agreement.
On March 20, 2019, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado for the purpose of submitting the class action settlement agreement to the court for preliminary approval, seeking authorization from the court to notify the class of the settlement agreement, and requesting an order of final approval of the settlement agreement. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, brought their claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (the “CADA”). The putative class consisted of all persons with mobility disabilities who use or would use the pedestrian right-of-way in Colorado Springs through the date of judgment in this action.
The complaint alleged that the City had failed to provide full and equal access to its pedestrian right-of-ways to the plaintiffs and other individuals with mobility disabilities. The City failed to install and maintain curb ramps that were necessary to make the pedestrian right-of-ways accessible. A substantial number of pedestrian right-of-ways did not comply with applicable federal regulations because they, for example, lacked curb ramps entirely, had curb ramps on only one side of a corner, or had curb ramps that were too narrow, steep, cracked, broken, or uplifted to be used by people with mobility disabilities. The plaintiffs further argued that an accessible pedestrian right-of-way was essential to realizing the integration mandate of disability non-discrimination laws.
The complaint sought monetary relief for the named plaintiffs, as well as attorneys’ fees. The class claims sought injunctive relief only: a permanent injunction requiring the City to undertake remedial measures to mitigate the effects of the City’s past and ongoing violations of the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the CADA. The case was assigned to Judge John L. Kane and Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya.
The plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for class certification and preliminary approval of the proposed class action settlement on March 21, 2019. The court granted this motion on March 22, 2019. In its order, the court set deadlines for the notification of class members, objections to the settlement, and motions for attorneys’ fees and plaintiff service awards.
On September 12, 2019, the plaintiffs moved for final approval of the settlement and the appointment of a special master. After a fairness hearing, on September 30, 2019, the court issued an order approving the settlement and appointing a special master to make decisions in the administration and enforcement of the settlement agreement. Final judgment was entered on October 1, 2019. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the City was required to (i) perform a survey of all City corners at street segments with sidewalks to identify the number and types of curb ramps at each corner as well as missing curb ramps or curb ramps not in compliance with regulations; (ii) when performing construction or alteration of its roadways or pedestrian facilities, install missing curb ramps and remediate ramps not in compliance with federal or state disability access standards; (iii) starting in 2018, install a minimum of 1,100 compliant curb ramps per calendar year, through the term of the settlement agreement (up to 14 years); (iv) provide class counsel and the Special Master with an annual report; and (v) retain an independent inspector to annually survey a random sampling of curb ramps.
The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement for the agreement’s term—the lesser of (i) 14 years from January 1, 2018 or (ii) until the City had submitted annual reports identifying a total of at least 15,400 curb ramps installed by the City, and the independent inspector submitted a final report confirming that the City had installed all compliant ramps required by the settlement agreement. Each named plaintiff received $5000, and their counsel received $145,000 in attorneys’ fees. The City was also required to pay $40,000 in attorneys’ fees connected to monitoring of the settlement agreement.
Kady Matsuzaki (4/6/2023)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14767259/king-v-city-of-colorado-springs/
Last updated July 5, 2023, 3:16 a.m.
State / Territory: Colorado
Filing Date: March 20, 2019
Closing Date: Oct. 1, 2019
Case Ongoing: No
Two individuals with mobility disabilities
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: Yes
Class Action Outcome: Granted
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Order Duration: 2018 - 2032