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Lary Feezor v. Garry L. Patterson; Pendleton Woolen Mills

April 15, 2011

LARY FEEZOR,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
GARRY L. PATTERSON; PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS DBA PENDLETON; FUSION PIT A GENERAL PARTNERSHIP DBA FUSION PIT; HANESBRANDS DIRECT, LLC DBA L'EGGS/HANES/BALI/PLAYTEX STORE #103; THE GAP, INC. DBA GAP OUTLET #7713; PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN CORPORATION DBA VAN HEUSEN FACTORY STORE #264; VF OUTDOOR, INC. DBA VANS #044; EDDIE BAUER A DELAWARE, LLC DBA EDDIE BAUER OUTLET #R-463, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter is before the court on (1) Lary Feezor's ("plaintiff") motion to amend the complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 16(b) and (2) plaintiff's motion for continuance, pursuant to FRCP 56(d),*fn1 of defendants' HanesBrands Direct LLC and Eddie Bauer LLC (collectively, "defendants") motions for summary judgment, pursuant to FRCP 56(d). Based upon the submissions of the parties and for the reasons set forth below, (1) plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint is GRANTED and (2) plaintiff's motion for continuance of defendants' motions for summary judgment is GRANTED.*fn2

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this discrimination action pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Unruh Civil Rights Act ("UCRA"), and the Disabled Persons Act ("DPA"). The alleged discrimination took place at the structure and/or property at the following businesses: Shasta Outlets and Common Parking Area ("Shasta Facility"), Pendelton Woolen Mills ("Pendleton"), HanesBrands Direct, LLC ("HanesBrand"), The Gap, Inc. ("Gap"), Philips-Van Heusen Corporation ("Van Heusen"), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. ("J.C. Penney"), VF Outdoor Inc.("Vans"), and Eddie Bauer, LLC ("Eddie Bauer").

Plaintiff alleges that he visited these stores and encountered several barriers at each establishment, which interfered with his ability to use and enjoy the goods, services, privileges, and accommodations offered at these facilities. (Compl., filed May 12, 2010 [Docket # 1], ¶ 24.) More specifically, plaintiff alleges that at the Eddie Bauer facility

(1) there is no signage posted at the entrance to indicate accessibility to disable persons; (2) the dressing room bench is not 24 inches wide by 48 inches long; (3) the entrance door does not have accessible panel handles; and (4) the dressing room bench is not affixed to the wall. (Compl. ¶ 39.)

Plaintiff further alleges that at the HanesBrand facility

(1) there is no signage posted at the entrance to indicate accessibility to disable persons; (2) the entrance door does not have accessible panel handles; (3) the check-out counter is too high with no portion lowered to sufficiently accommodate a patron in a wheel chair; and (4) the pay point machine is too high (Compl. ¶ 31.)

Plaintiff alleges these barriers constitute violations of the ADA, UCRA, and DPA.

Plaintiff filed his complaint on May 12, 2010. On January 7, 2011, the Ninth Circuit, in an en banc decision, altered the pleading standard for claims under the ADA. See Chapman v. Pier One Imports, Inc., 631 F.3d 939 (9th Cir. 2011). Defendants HanesBrand and Eddie Bauer subsequently filed nearly identical motions for summary judgment on March 8, 2011, alleging that plaintiff's complaint failed to allege facts sufficient to constitute "injury-in-fact" under the Chapman standard, and thus, plaintiff does not have standing to bring his ADA claims. Plaintiff then filed the two motions that are the subject of this order: plaintiff filed a motion to amend the complaint on March 14, 2011 and a motion for continuance of defendants' motions for summary judgment on March 18, 2011.

ANALYSIS

A. Motion to Amend the Complaint

In light of the Ninth Circuit's recent holding in Chapman, which altered the pleading standard for claims under the ADA, plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint to comport with that standard. In Chapman, the court held that an ADA plaintiff must plead with particularity the specific barriers that he or she encountered "and how [plaintiff's] disability was affected by them so as to deny him the 'full and equal' access that would satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement" of the standing inquiry. Id. at 954. Plaintiff argues that, based on this new pleading requirement, he should be granted leave to amend his complaint to explain how each barrier he encountered impaired his full and equal access to defendants' facilities. (Pl.'s Mot. to Am., filed Mar. 14, 2011 [Docket #32], at 1:21--2:4.)

Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that leave to amend should be denied because plaintiff cannot show good cause to amend pursuant to FRCP 16(b). Defendants allege that good cause to amend does not exist because: (1) defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment; (2) plaintiff cannot amend his complaint after the deadline for amendment to the pleadings has expired; and (3) plaintiff's proposed amendments are futile--defendants maintain plaintiff cannot satisfy the Chapman standard because he cannot show that he was "deprived" of the "same full ...


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