United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT OCEANIC ARCATA'S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE: DKT. NO. 63
ILLSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Oceanic Arcata's motion for summary judgment was heard on
November 8, 2019. Having considered the papers submitted and
the arguments made, the court hereby DENIES the motion for
summary judgment in its entirety.
Sherie Abel is a quadriplegic who requires the assistance of
a caretaker. Dkt. No. 49 at 2. In early September 2015, Ms.
Abel and her husband, Steven Keck, visited the Red Roof Inn
in Arcata, California on their honeymoon. Dkt. No. 63-1 at 12
(Motion for Summary Judgment); Dkt. No. 63-2 at 16-17 (Ex. A
- Abel Depo.). They stayed in a handicapped accessible room.
Dkt. No. 63-1 at 14 (Motion for Summary Judgment). Ms.
Huskelhus, an experienced caretaker, accompanied Ms. Abel and
Mr. Keck on the trip. Dkt. No. 49 at 2. In September 2015,
defendant Oceanic Arcata owned the Inn. Dkt. No. 49 at 3.
the late morning, while at the Red Roof Inn, Ms. Huskelhus
went to bathe Ms. Abel. Dkt. No. 63-1 at 14. Ms. Huskelhus
placed Ms. Abel in the shower using a Hoyer lift. Dkt. No.
63-2 at 24-26 (Ex. A - Abel Depo.). Ms. Abel remained in her
Hoyer lift for the entirety of her bathing session.
Id; see also Dkt. No. 63-2 at 53-54 (Ex. B
- Huskelhus Depo.).
Ms. Abel was situated in the shower, Ms. Huskelhus began
adjusting the water temperature. Dkt. No. 63-2 at 26-29 (Ex.
A - Abel Depo.). Ms. Huskelhus tested the water and told Ms.
Abel she would have to take a cold shower because the water
was tepid. Id. Soon after, Ms. Huskelhus, letting
water continue to run on Ms. Abel, retrieved the
shampoo. Id. at 32; see also Dkt. No. 63-2
at 54-57 (Ex. B - Huskelhus Depo.). When Ms. Huskelhus looked
again at Ms. Abel's back, she noticed Ms. Abel's skin
was getting red and appeared burned. Id.
Keck used a thermometer he purchased from a local hardware
store to measure the water temperature from the sink and
determined the water temperature was 140 degrees
Fahrenheit. See Dkt No. 45-3 at 2-3 (Abel
February 2019, plaintiff brought a motion for partial summary
judgment. Dkt. No. 45. This Court granted partial summary
judgment (Dkt. No. 57) with respect to the following five
(1) plaintiff is disabled;
(2) the Red Roof Inn is a public accommodation;
(3) defendant Oceanic Arcata failed to comply with ADAAG
(4) as such, the defendant Oceanic Arcata violated the ADA
which, in turn, is a violation of the Unruh Act and;
(5) plaintiff encountered water emitted from a water heater
with temperature settings in violation of ADAAG 607.6, and in
turn the ADA and Unruh Act.
Court noted in its order granting partial summary judgment
that “the issue of whether plaintiff encountered
water over 120 degrees Fahrenheit is still in play to be