Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center v. Hospitality Properties Trust

Disabled plaintiff has Article III standing for his lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act so long as he alleges he was deterred from using defendant’s facilities because of its failure to make suitable accommodations for disabled persons; he need not have actually visited the facility and been turned away.  A plaintiff may establish Art. III standing for purposes of bringing a suit for discrimination against the disabled under the federal ADA by showing that he had actual knowledge of the defendant’s violations of the ADA by failure to make suitable accommodations for disabled persons, and that he was deterred from using defendant’s facilities as a result of that knowledge.  It does not matter that plaintiff did not actually visit the facilities and witness the barriers for disabled persons so long as he knows they exist.  It also does not matter what plaintiff’s motivation was, so the fact he was a “tester” does not deprive him of standing.  However, the decision also affirms denial of class certification since the defendant is a REIT that must and does hire third parties to manage its properties, and those third parties’ policies differ.  This defeats commonality even if the REIT is liable for its agents’ ADA violations.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Wardlaw, J.; Morris, J., sitting by designation, concurring in part & dissenting in part); August 9, 2017; 2017 WL 3401319

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