Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Hermanson Family Limited Partnership I, et al., 96-WY-2490-AJ (D.C. Colo. 1996)
Four stores in Denver’s landmark shopping district, Larimer Square, provide no access to persons who use wheelchairs; ADA requires removal of barriers when doing so is “readily achievable, “e.g., installing ramps at one-step entrances. Plaintiff was Kevin Williams, CCDC General Counsel, represented by Fox & Robertson, P.C.
Campbell-Ritter Corporation (operated Chatelaine store, no longer in business), AnnTaylor Stores Corporation, AnnTaylor, Inc (operated AnnTaylor store), Nine West Group, Inc. (operated Nine West Store), Hermanson Limited Family Partnership I (owns Larimer Square).
Ruling that there is no exhaustion of administrative remedies under the Colorado Anti-discrimination Act, a state anti-discrimination law; ruling that ADA plaintiff has standing to sue in public accommodations if she or he tries to access place and cannot enter; no need to demonstrate concrete intent to return or make purchase. After trial and an appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tenth Circuit adopted a burden of proof standard for plaintiffs in readily achievable barrier removal cases that will benefit plaintiffs around the country.
Unfortunately, the Tenth Circuit held that the plaintiff in this case failed to meet that burden of proof at trial. To this day, store locations at Larimer Square at issue prohibit access to patrons who use wheelchairs by maintaining one or two steps at their only entrances.