UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 28, 2009
EDWARD FORBES AND MATTHEW FORBES, MINORS, BY JENNIFER FORBES, AS THEIR GUARDIAN AD LITEM, PLAINTIFFS,
DR. CHESTER HSU, D.D.S. DBA SILVER STAR DENTAL PRACTICE; RONALD F. MYERS; CAROLINE MYERS; DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Approval of Proposed Minors' Claims in this lawsuit, which alleges disability access violations in contravention of both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and California civil rights statutes.*fn1
Plaintiffs Edward and Forbes and Matthew Forbes are minors*fn2 represented in this action by their mother and Guardian ad Litem, Jennifer Forbes. Both minors suffer from cerebral palsy, are physically disabled and require the use of wheelchairs for mobility. Plaintiffs contend that Defendant Dr. Chester Hsu failed to provide equal access to his dentistry offices in violation of both Title II of the ADA and state law. Plaintiffs further included Defendants Ronald and Caroline Myers as Defendants in this lawsuit given their ownership of the building in which Dr. Hsu's offices are located.
The settlement for which court approval is being sought consists of both injunctive relief (designed to remedy the access violations) and lump sum payments to both Plaintiffs from both Dr. Hsu ($16,000.00) and the Myers Defendants ($8,000.00). These proceeds, which total $24,000.00, will be split equally between the two minor Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs' counsel has represented that attorney's fees will be sought on a statutory basis. Those fees will not be sought against the minor Plaintiffs or their mother.
No opposition to Plaintiffs' request for good faith settlement determination was submitted.
After considering the moving papers, and good cause appearing therefor, the Court finds that the settlement with Plaintiffs is fair and made in good faith.
Plaintiffs' Motion for Approval of Settlement of Minors' Claims as to Defendants Dr. Clifford Hsu, D.D.S., dba Silver Star Dental Practice, Ronald F. Myers and Caroline Myers is therefore GRANTED.
Within two business days of receipt of the aforementioned settlement proceeds, Plaintiffs' Guardian ad Litem, Jennifer Forbes shall deposit the monies in an interest-bearing, federally-insured blocked account at Wells Fargo Bank, located at 949 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603, in the name of Jennifer Forbes as Trustee for Matthew Forbes and Edward Forbes. No withdrawals of principal or interest may be made from the account except with prior written authorization of this Court. The account is not subject to escheat.
Jennifer Forbes is authorized to execute any and all documents reasonably necessary to carry out the terms of the settlement. She is directed to deliver a copy of this Order to the Wells Fargo Bank in which the funds are deposited, along with a copy of the Receipt and Acknowledgment of Order for the Deposit of Money into Blocked Account, attached hereto as Exhibit 1. Petitioner must return the Receipt to this Court within fifteen (15) days of depositing the initial payment into the designated account.
IT IS SO ORDERED.