Challenging Inaccessible Hotel Transportation

In February 2015, Disability Law United filed a series of lawsuits arguing that four major hotel owners/operators were discriminating against individuals with mobility disabilities in the provision of hotel shuttle transportation.  Specifically, the cases challenged the hotels’ consistent failure to provide accessible options when they chose to offer transportation services to guests, as violations of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and California state law where applicable.

Two of the cases proceeded and settled as class actions: those against RLJ Lodging Trust and Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc., both filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California. Two others – Cupolo-Freeman v. Hospitality Properties Trust (also in the Northern District) and Disability Law United v. Sage Hospitality Resources (filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado) were ultimately resolved on an individual basis. Disability Law United co-counseled these cases with the Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & HoBenham-Baker Legal, and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition.

Ashford Hospitality Trust

On March 22, 2016, the court granted final approval of a class action settlement.

Relevant documents:

RLJ Lodging Trust

On May 3, 2016, the court granted final approval of a class action settlement.

Relevant documents:

Hospitality Properties Trust

The district court denied class certification and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, in a decision that — on the bright side — recognized tester standing under Title III of the ADA. On remand from the Ninth Circuit, HPT moved for summary judgment and lost, then asked for interlocutory appeal and lost that, too.  Plaintiffs moved to amend their complaint to add individualized allegations concerning 52 HPT-owned hotels. HPT objected and lost again.  The parties settled in early 2020 with HPT – by then known as Service Properties Trust – committing to ensure that transportation at the covered hotels complies with the ADA.  

Relevant documents:

Sage Hospitality Resources

On April 5, 2017, the parties reached a confidential settlement in this case.

Relevant documents: