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Kohler v. Flava Enterprises, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 6, 2015

CHRIS KOHLER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
FLAVA ENTERPRISES, INC., Defendant-Appellee

Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California: February 3, 2015.

Page 1017

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. D.C. NO. 3:10-cv-00730-IEG-NLS. D.C. NO. 3:10-cv-00730-IEG-NLS. Irma E. Gonzalez, District Judge, Presiding.

Scottlyn J. Hubbard IV (argued), Law Offices of Lynn Hubbard, Chico, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

David Warren Peters (argued), California Justice Alliance, APC, San Diego, California, for Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Ronald M. Gould, Circuit Judges and J. Frederick Motz, Senior District Judge.[*]

OPINION

MOTZ, Senior District Judge:

SUMMARY[**]

Americans with Disabilities Act

The panel affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment and its denial of attorneys' fees in an action under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Affirming the district court's summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the panel held that a dressing room bench longer than forty-eight inches complied with the 1991 version of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines even though the arrangement of the bench prevented the plaintiff from making a diagonal transfer onto the bench from his wheelchair. The panel held that the bench did not comply with the ADAAG's mandate but nonetheless qualified as an " equivalent facilitation" because the plaintiff could make a parallel transfer. Because the bench thus complied with the 1991 standards and had not been altered since March 15, 2012, it fell within a safe harbor and was not required to comply with the newer ADAAG standards promulgated in 2010.

The panel also affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion for attorneys' fees under the ADA and 28 U.S.C. § 1927.

Page 1018

Chris Kohler appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant Flava Enterprises Inc. (" Flava" ), on Kohler's claim under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ). Kohler appeals only the district court's conclusion that a dressing room bench longer than forty-eight inches complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (" ADAAG" ). We affirm. Flava cross-appeals the district court's denial of ...


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