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Walker v. City of San Diego

April 15, 2009

BEVERLY WALKER, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Leo S. Papas U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES (DOC. # 246)

Plaintiffs filed their original Complaint in 1997, alleging a plethora of Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") violations at Qualcomm Stadium ("the Stadium"). The claims asserted in the Complaint were settled and the terms of the settlement were memorialized in a Settlement Agreement, effective February 12, 2001. The Court approved the Settlement Agreement and, pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, retained jurisdiction to enforce its terms.

The Settlement Agreement contained dates for completion of modifications to be made to the Stadium, the majority of which were to be completed by April 1, 2001.*fn1 Other modifications to the Stadium were to be completed by April 1, 2002.*fn2 April 1, 2002 was expected to be the "Modification Completion Date."*fn3 Once the Modification Completion Date was established, the "Discount Expiration Date" would also be established.*fn4 The Discount Expiration Date determines the commencement of the "testing procedures."*fn5 The testing procedures would last for the Term*fn6 of the Settlement Agreement.

Plaintiffs now seek attorney's fees incurred from June 14, 2001 to January 29, 2009 for assuring and monitoring that Defendant completed the modifications to the Stadium, and for preparation of the Motion for Attorney's Fees. Defendant City of San Diego ("Defendant") opposes Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorney's Fees.

Attorney's Fees Provisions of the Settlement Agreement*fn7

Sections 12, 13, 14 and Exhibit U of the Settlement Agreement form the basis on which Plaintiffs request an award of attorney's from the Court.

Exhibit U states, in pertinent part:

City shall pay the sum of (a sum certain)... as reimbursement for all legal fees... and costs incurred in connection with the Lawsuit for the ten-year period beginning with the initiation of the Lawsuit in 1997 through the Effective date, and as full payment for any and all such fees and costs which will or may be incurred by Plaintiffs in connection with this Agreement, through September 1, 2007, or such later date as is determined to be the later of the final termination date of the Agreement or the enforcement provisions of the Agreement, except as provided in Sections 13 and 14 hereof. (emphasis added)

Section 12 of the Settlement Agreement states in pertinent part:

... City shall reimburse Plaintiffs for the fees... as well as other costs in accordance with Exhibit U... This amount shall be in complete satisfaction of any and all claims for reimbursement for such items incurred by or on behalf of Plaintiffs in connection with the Lawsuit through the final disposition and except as otherwise provided in Sections 13 and 14 hereof. termination of this Agreement, (emphasis added)

Section 13 of the Settlement Agreement states in pertinent part:

between the parties hereto relating to this Agreement, the decision of the Court shall be final and non-appealable. In the discretion of the Court, the prevailing party in any such action may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection therewith...proceedings ... In the event of any litigation or further

(emphasis added)

Section 14 of the Settlement Agreement states in pertinent part:

In the event of any dispute regarding the Agreement or any Modifications made, or to be made by the City pursuant to the terms thereof, the parties agree to confer for the purpose of resolving, if possible, the dispute. If the parties hereto are unable to resolve such disputes, the matter may be referred to ...


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