On August 2, 2017, Plaintiffs Wendy Kolbe and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition filed suit against a clinic in Pueblo, Colorado, Endocrine Services, for discriminating against individuals with disabilities who use service animals. In this case, Wendy Kolbe alleges she is an individual with a disability (diabetes that substantially limits several major life activities) and her service animal, a dog named Bandit, has been trained specially for the purpose of detecting and alerting Ms. Kolbe as to when she has highs and lows in her blood sugar levels.
Relevant pleadings and Orders are set forth below.
On January 19, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on Liability.
On March 8, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ Motion. The Court determined that there were disputed issues of material fact regarding whether Wendy Kolbe had diabetes based on the briefing provided by both Parties.
Discovery continued. Depositions were taken and written discovery was conducted. Expert witness reports were submitted by both Parties. Discovery is now complete.
On November 19, 2019, Defendant’s filed its Motion for Summary Judgment. On July 22, 2020, Judge Moore ruled on that motion. Once again, the Court ruled there exist disputed issues of material fact regarding whether Wendy Kolbe has diabetes.
The case was set for trial on September 14, 2020.
A Trial Preparation Conference was held on August 21, 2020. During that Conference, the Court requested the Parties submit a statement regarding whether the trial should go forward as scheduled as a “pilot trial” taking into consideration concerns related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the current pandemic and concerns Chief Judge Brimmer of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado has raised in General Order 2020-10, currently all civil trials, with the exception of certain selected “pilot trials” that had been scheduled on or prior to October 31, 2020, have been continued until further notice. See General Order 2020-16. To see the Chief Judge’s General Orders regarding continuing trials, you can go to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado website for the Court’s Plans and General Orders regarding the subject. Because of these changes, the best place to get updates regarding current plans and orders is this website. Prior to the Trial Preparation Conference, the Parties submitted their Proposed Jury Instructions, Verdict Forms and Proposed Voir Dire Questions as required by Judge Moore’s Orders and Practice Standards.
Also, during the Conference on August 21, 2020, Judge Moore ordered the Parties to submit briefs regarding whether Plaintiff Wendy Kolbe has standing to bring prospective injunctive relief and whether CCDC has standing at all. The Parties submitted their briefs as ordered.
The Court ordered a new trial date for March 15, 2021, and ordered the Parties to submit new Jury Instructions and Verdict Forms as well as new Voir Dire Questions as permitted by Judge Moore’s Practice Standards.
For those interested in participating in observing the trial, the current Jury Trial Protocols are available on the Court’s website as well. Currently, the only way to observe a trial is to use an audio link as set forth in the Protocols. Spectators are not currently permitted in the courthouse.
Some motions, responses, replies and orders are attached below. Also, the Media Release that was issued when the case was filed as well as the media coverage of the case are set forth below.
[New files will be updated when the website permits.]