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Title: Sandi Rush v. Denco Enterprises

August 3, 2012

TITLE: SANDI RUSH
v.
DENCO ENTERPRISES, INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable David O. Carter, Judge

O

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

PRESENT: THE HONORABLE DAVID O. CARTER, JUDGE

Julie Barrera N/A Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFF: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANT: None Present None Present

PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES

Before the Court is a Motion for Reconsideration filed by Defendant Denco Enterprises, Inc. (Docket 54) and a Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Litigation Expenses filed by Plaintiff Sandi Rush (Docket 53). The Court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed R. Civ. P. 78; Local R. 7-15. After considering the moving and opposing papers, the Court DENIES the Motion for Reconsideration and GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Motion for Attorneys' Fees.

I.BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Sandi Rush ("Plaintiff") is a paraplegic who is unable to walk or stand and requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility. Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), ¶ 8. Plaintiff brought suit against Defendant Denco Enterprises, dba Denny's ("Defendant"), the owner and operator of a chain of restaurants, on the ground that Defendant's facilities are not wheelchair accessible. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant maintains at least 17 barriers to accessibility, id. at ¶ 11-27, although at the time of summary judgment, only two had yet to be remedied by Defendant. The SAC alleged causes of action for (1) violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), (2) violation of California's Disabled Persons Act as set forth in California Civil Code § 54 ("CDPA"), (3) violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act as set forth in California Civil Code § 51 ("Unruh Act"), and (4) violation of California Health and Safety Code § 19955(a) and 19959.

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the only two of the seventeen barriers that were not remedied by Defendant: (1) insufficient strike side clearance adjacent to the door of the women's restroom, making it difficult for Rush to open the door when entering and (2) insufficient clearance at the women's restroom door when leaving the women's restroom, making it difficult for Rush to open the door when exiting.

In its summary judgment order, this Court denied as moot Plaintiff's first claim -- the entry claim - and granted Plaintiff summary judgment on her second claim -- the exit claim. Rush v. Denco Enterprises, Inc., et al., 2012 WL 1423584, -- F. Supp. 2d -- (C.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2012). In her Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff set forth the relevant law governing her exit claim and provided declarations stating that Defendant's restaurant violated ADAAG Regulation 4.13.6. Because Plaintiff's interpretation of the regulation was reasonable and supported by evidence and argument, Plaintiff met her burden of showing that she was entitled to judgment on that claim as a matter of law. Defendant, on the other hand, did not challenge any of Plaintiff's facts and only "hint[ed] at a dispute of law by stating that the "undersigned believes there is no requirement for the longer wall Plaintiff appears to be seeking." This Court held that "[d]efense counsel's unsupported musing is far from sufficient" to meet its burden and granted summary judgment to Plaintiff.

Defendant now seeks reconsideration of this Court's summary judgment order, while Plaintiff simultaneously seeks attorneys' fees and litigation expenses on behalf of their counsel, Disabled Advocacy Group, APLC ("Counsel").

II.DISCUSSION

A. Motion for ...


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