We are excited to report that yesterday, Judge Wiley Daniel of the District of Colorado ruled from the bench, granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Entry of Injunction and Entry of Judgment against Hollister stores. This case involved raised porch entrances to Hollister stores, which involve two steps up onto the porch and two steps down into the stores. In other words, Hollister took flat mall entrances and made them inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs. They have side entrances that are, for the purposes of this lawsuit, accessible. Plaintiffs argued that the side entrances are not the main entrances, which need to be accessible, and that the porch itself is a public space that must, on its own, be accessible.
This case has significant symbolic importance. Hollister described the porches as an attempt to mimic the "California surf-shack," yet it sent customers who use wheelchairs to side entrances, which are disguised as shudders. So while most customers can have this "surf-shack" experience, customers who use wheelchairs must feel as if they are entering through a side window. Additionally, it is a vindication of rights for people with disabilities that you cannot take an accessible space and render it inaccessible. People with disabilities are entitled to an equal experience.
This is CBB's first litigation victory, and we were mere part of an impressive team. Our esteemed cocounsel are Colorado Cross-Disability Commission (press release here - http://bit.ly/YqYoRq), Fox & Robertson, and Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson (Julia's former firm, where she was during most of this litigation). Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in support of Plaintiffs' motion. This Statement was crucial to the Court's decision.
The order and injunction are forthcoming.