On May 3, 2016, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval of a class action settlement and certified a settlement class in CREEC et al. v. RLJ Lodging Trust. RLJ owns approximately 127 hotels throughout the country. The lawsuit, brought by CREEC and three individuals with mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs, alleges that many hotels owned by RLJ provide transportation services to guests, but fail to provide equivalent wheelchair-accessible transportation services as required by the ADA and California state law.
As a result of the settlement, the hotels owned by RLJ that provide transportation services to their guests will provide equivalent accessible services to guests who use wheelchairs or scooters. The accessible services will be equivalent in timing, notice, routes or geographic scope, fares, hours, reservations, and restrictions. The settlement provides for three years of monitoring of the hotels to ensure compliance.
As the Court noted in the final approval order, the settlement’s “extensive injunctive relief, combined with robust monitoring, is an excellent result for the class.” In an earlier order, the Court also held that the three individual plaintiffs had standing as testers to pursue injunctive relief under the ADA.