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McCoy v. Petwin Hayden LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 27, 2016

Robert McCoy, Plaintiff,
Petwin Hayden LLC, Defendant.


          James A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court are: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (“Motion to Dismiss, ” Doc. 19); and (2) Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint (“Motion to Amend, ” Doc. 20). The parties did not request oral argument. The Court now rules on the Motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Robert McCoy visited Defendant Petwin Hayden, LLC's Scottsdale office complex (“Defendant's complex”) on August 14, 2016. (First Amended Complaint, (Doc. 6), (“FAC”) at ¶¶ 2, 25). During his visit, Plaintiff contends that he encountered access barriers that he believes violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (the “AzDA”).[1] (Id. at ¶¶ 39-53).

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that the parking lots at Defendant's complex:

(1) fail to identify van parking spaces by the designation “van accessible, ” (2) do not contain appropriately identified accessible spaces, (3) have signs posted at the incorrect height on spaces identified as accessible, (4) have parking spaces, sidewalks, landings, and entryways that are not accessible because they contain incorrect transitions, grades, slopes, rises, surface levels, and lips, and (5) contain other features that obstruct the disabled from accessing [Defendant's complex].

(Id. at ¶ 26). Plaintiff alleges that these barriers deter “disabled individuals” from visiting Defendant's complex. (Id. at ¶ 37).


         Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims based on a lack of standing. In particular, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to allege an injury-in-fact and sufficient causation between Plaintiff's injury and Defendant's conduct in allegedly violating the ADA. (Doc. 19 at 3-5).

         A. Legal Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Federal Rule”) 12(b)(1), a litigant may seek dismissal of an action for lack of standing because “Article III standing is a species of subject matter jurisdiction.” Carijano v. Occidental Petroleum Corp., 643 F.3d 1216, 1227 (9th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). To survive a defendant's motion to dismiss, the plaintiff has the burden of proving jurisdiction. Tosco v. Cmtys. for a Better Env't, 236 F.3d 495, 499 (9th Cir. 2000). The “irreducible constitutional minimum” required to demonstrate standing requires that a plaintiff has “(1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1546-47 (2016).

         “To establish an injury in fact, a plaintiff must show that [he] suffered ‘an invasion of a legally protected interest' that is ‘concrete and particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.'” Id. at 1548 (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992)). Within the context of the ADA, a plaintiff suffers an injury-in-fact “either because discriminatory architectural barriers deter him from returning to a facility or because they ‘otherwise interfere with his access to' the facility.” Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., 631 F.3d 939, 950 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Doran v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 524 F.3d 1034, 1042 n.5 (9th Cir. 2008)). While any such barrier need not “completely preclude” but, rather, simply “interfere with the plaintiff's ‘full and equal enjoyment' of the facility, ” such interference must be due to the plaintiff's “particular disability.” Id. at 947. Once a plaintiff has identified such barriers interfering with his access to a place of public accommodation, he has not only shown an injury-in-fact but has also shown that such injury is “traceable to the defendant's conduct and capable of being redressed by the courts, ” thus meeting Article III's standing requirement. Doran, 524 F.3d at 1042 n.5.

         B. Analysis

         Here, Plaintiff's FAC lacks any specificity with which the Court can confirm he has standing to sue under the ADA. While Plaintiff states that he is disabled, he never states that he was personally unable to access Defendant's property. Rather, Plaintiff's FAC is filled with allegations about abstract “individuals with disabilities” who were injured by Defendant's alleged statutory violations. (FAC at ¶¶ 26 (“[Plaintiff] found that the Premises was not accessible to individuals with disabilities.”), 27 (“[Plaintiff] therefore has actual knowledge of at least one barrier preventing disabled individuals [from accessing] the parking lots at the Premises[, ] and individuals with disabilities are currently deterred from visiting [Defendant's] public accommodation[s].”), 29-31, 33, 36-37). Overall, it is unclear whether Plaintiff is making an allegation based upon an injury he personally suffered or suing on behalf of other “individuals with ...

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