Kennedy v. Omega Gas & Oil, LLC

748 F. App’x 886 (2018)

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Kennedy v. Omega Gas & Oil, LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
748 F. App’x 886 (2018)

  • Written by Arlyn Katen, JD

Facts

In January 2017, Patricia Kennedy (plaintiff) visited a gas station and convenience store operated by Omega Gas & Oil, LLC (Omega) (defendant) and encountered several barriers that were difficult or impossible to navigate in her wheelchair. For example, a dumpster blocked the poorly marked handicapped parking space, and the bathroom was impossible for Kennedy to enter. Kennedy sued Omega in federal district court, seeking injunctive relief to force Omega to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Omega’s managing member, Walid Alsheikh, began making improvements after receiving Kennedy’s initial complaint. Omega had purchased the property in 2002 and did not know the age of the building. Before Kennedy sued, Alsheikh had believed that the property was ADA compliant because state inspectors had never notified him of issues. Kennedy retained ADA-compliance expert Carlos Herrera to inspect Omega’s property. Herrera visited Omega’s property in March 2017. Herrera’s report noted that accessibility improvements were in progress, but it listed many ways that Omega was not compliant with the ADA. By trial, Omega had resolved every noncompliance issue noted in Herrera’s report except for one: the bathroom did not have 60 inches of maneuverable floor space, which could be achieved only by moving a wall three inches. Although Herrera had estimated that moving the wall would cost $4,650 based on costs of similar projects in other buildings, Alsheikh testified at trial that two contractors had provided estimates of $80,000 and $85,950. The district court determined that Kennedy was not entitled to relief because moving the bathroom wall was not readily achievable, and Omega had remedied every other alleged issue. Kennedy appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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