Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Hermanson Family Ltd. Partnership I

264 F.3d 999 (2001)

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Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition v. Hermanson Family Ltd. Partnership I

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
264 F.3d 999 (2001)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Hermanson Family Limited Partnership I (Hermanson) (defendant) owned commercial buildings in Larimer Square, including the Crawford Building. Kevin Williams (plaintiff) was an employee of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (coalition) (plaintiff) who used a power wheelchair for mobility. Williams visited Larimer Square and encountered multiple architectural barriers that prevented him from accessing the stores. In particular, the Crawford Building had a raised iron stoop at its entrance, prohibiting wheelchair access. The coalition filed multiple suits against Hermanson for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all of which were consolidated into one matter for trial. The coalition sought injunctions to have Hermanson install ramps at various locations in Larimer Square, including the Crawford Building. The coalition presented testimony from an expert in historical preservation in architecture and urban design. The expert stated that the Crawford Building could have a ramp installed without threatening the building’s historical significance. The expert presented conceptual sketches of a ramp option but acknowledged that a full team of experts would be required to ensure full accessibility and to avoid difficulties for visually impaired patrons as well as wheelchair users. The expert also provided an estimated cost based on similar projects. Accountants testified that the renovation would take a minimal toll on Hermanson’s funds and that even doubling the project’s estimated cost did not change the impact. At the end of the coalition’s case, the district court granted judgment as a matter of law for Hermanson, finding that the coalition had failed to show that removal of architectural barriers at Larimer Square was readily achievable. The coalition appealed only the Crawford Building decision to the Tenth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baldock, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Lucero, J.)

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