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Lammey v. Queenbee LLC

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 20, 2019

DWAIN LAMMEY, Plaintiff,
v.
QUEENBEE LLC, a California Limited Liability Company; and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS [13]

          OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Defendant Queenbee LLC's Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim. (Mot. to Dismiss (“Mot.”), ECF No. 13.)[1] For the following reasons, Queenbee's Motion is GRANTED.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Dwain Lammey is a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair for mobility. (Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 1.) Queenbee owns real property located at 608 E. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles, California. (Compl. ¶ 2.) In March 2019, Lammey went to Queenbee's property to eat at a restaurant open to the public, motivated in part to determine if Queenbee complied with disability access laws. (Compl. ¶ 8.) Lammey alleges that on the date of his visit, Queenbee did not provide accessible paths of travel in conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Standards. (Compl. ¶ 11.) In a footnote in his Complaint, Lammey elaborates that “there was no safe wheelchair accessible route of travel from the boundary of the site to the accessible entrance of the restaurant.” (Compl. ¶ 11 n.1.)

         Lammey claims he personally encountered this barrier, and the lack of accessible paths of travel created difficulty and discomfort for him. (Compl. ¶¶ 13, 15.) Lammey alleges that, because Queenbee failed to provide accessible paths of travel, Queenbee denied him full and equal access. (Compl. ¶ 14.) According to Lammey, the barriers are easily removable and, if complete removal is not achievable, numerous alternative accommodations can be made to provide greater access. (Compl. ¶ 17.) Lammey further alleges that his knowledge of the existing barriers and uncertainty about the existence of other barriers deters him from returning to the restaurant. (Compl. ¶ 18.)

         Based on these allegations, Lammey asserts two causes of action: (1) violation of the ADA; and (2) violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh”). (Compl. ¶¶ 22-30.) Queenbee moves to dismiss Lammey's Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Mot. 1.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A court may dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for lack of a cognizable legal theory or insufficient facts pleaded to support an otherwise cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). To survive a dismissal motion, a complaint need only satisfy the minimal notice pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2)-a short and plain statement of the claim. Porter v. Jones, 319 F.3d 483, 494 (9th Cir. 2003). The factual “allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). That is, the complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         The determination of whether a complaint satisfies the plausibility standard is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679. A court is generally limited to the pleadings and must construe all “factual allegations set forth in the complaint . . . as true and . . . in the light most favorable” to the plaintiff. Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 679 (9th Cir. 2001). However, a court need not blindly accept conclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of fact, and unreasonable inferences. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001).

         IV. DISCUSSION[2]

         Queenbee contends that Lammey does not allege any architectural barriers that constitute discrimination under the ADA; thus, Lammey fails to give Queenbee fair notice as Rule 8 requires. (Mot. 1.) On that basis, Queenbee moves to dismiss Lammey's Complaint for a failure to state a claim. (Mot. 1.)

         A. Violation of the ADA

         Lammey alleges that Queenbee failed to provide accessible paths of travel, in ...


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