Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement in CREEC et al. v. Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc.

On December 18, 2015, Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered an order granting preliminary approval to a class action settlement in CREEC et al. v. Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. Ashford owns approximately 125 hotels located in 20 states. The lawsuit, brought by the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and two individuals with mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs, alleges that many hotels owned by Ashford provide transportation services to guests, but fail to provide equivalent wheelchair-accessible transportation services as required by the ADA and California state law. The lawsuit seeks only declaratory and injunctive relief: an order requiring all hotels owned by Ashford to comply with the ADA’s accessible transportation requirements. It does not seek monetary damages for the named plaintiffs or the class.

As the Court noted in the preliminary approval order, the settlement “provides a comprehensive scheme for injunctive relief.” As a result of the settlement, all of the hotels owned by Ashford that provide transportation services to their guests will provide equivalent accessible services to guests who use wheelchairs or scooters. The accessible services will be equivalent in timing, notice, routes or geographic scope, fares, hours, reservations, and restrictions. The settlement provides for three years of monitoring of the hotels to ensure compliance.

A final approval hearing will be held on March 10, 2016 at 11:00 am in Oakland, California. Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class are represented by CBB, CREEC, and CCDC. For more information, please contact Tim Fox of CREEC.

For more information about the lawsuit and proposed settlement, please see: