Karczewski v. DCH Mission Valley, LLC

Disabled plaintiff stated a viable claim for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act against a used car dealership, based on its refusal to accommodate his need for the temporary installation of hand controls for the brake and accelerator so plaintiff could test-drive a car he was considering buying.  The ADA forbids (among other things) a failure to make reasonable accommodations to policies, practices or procedures when necessary to allow disabled persons full access to goods and services, unless the accommodations would work a fundamental alteration of those services.  This decision holds that the disabled plaintiff stated a viable claim for violation of this provision by alleging that a used car dealership refused to accommodate his need for hand controls for the brake and accelerator by temporarily installing hand controls in the car so plaintiff could test drive the car, just as non-disabled customers were allowed to test drive vehicles.  Though at a later stage of the case the dealer might be able to show that temporary installation of hand controls was unreasonably difficult or expensive or otherwise would require a fundamental alteration of its services, at the pleading stage, plaintiff adequately stated a claim by alleging that installing hand controls was easy, cheap and did not permanently alter the car or disable any of its normal systems.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Graber, J.; Bybee, J., acquiescing dubitante); July 10, 2017; 2017 WL 2925437

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