Moeller, et al. v. Taco Bell Corp., , C 02-5849 PJH
In this class action lawsuit, filed by four people who use wheelchairs in 2002, plaintiffs challenged numerous accessibility barriers in all of Taco Bell’s corporate-owned stores in California. CCDC assisted Fox & Robertson, PC (now CREEC) with this case.
In 2011, the Court entered Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law finding Taco Bell had violated the ADA and California access requirement in over 160 restaurants and that these violations stem from inadequate and ineffective centralized accessibility policies, and that the violations likely will recur. The Court did not enter an injunction. Then, in a stunning ruling in September of 2012, the Court reversed its finding that class-wide relief was available and stated it would not enter an order for an injunction until all other trials regarding damages are completed, which the Court estimates could take a decade.
CCDC and other disability rights organizations joined to file an Amicus Brief.
Oral argument on the appeal was held on June 13, 2013.
On June 24, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against plaintiffs/appelants, dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. As a result, the district court will not enter an injunction until after all of the state damages trials are completed, which the district court judge opined might take ten years.
After several challenges in the District Court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was set to go to trial. The case settled on the eve of trial. Taco Bell either has made or will make accessibility modifications to all of its restaurants throughout the state of California to bring them into compliance with the ADA in California’s state accessibility laws. The individual plaintiffs obtain damages, and class counsel were awarded fees and costs. That document is available here.