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Judge Certifies CO Attorney’s Disability Class-Action Suit

By James Carlson

A U.S. District Court of Colorado judge on Monday certified a nationwide class-action suit brought against a national clothing retailer by a Denver attorney.

Judge Wiley Daniel had already ruled “the center front entrances [with steps] at the Hollister stores at Park Meadows mall and Orchard Town Center mall violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

The ruling means the lawsuit now covers Hollister stores across the United States, not just those in Colorado.

Amy Robertson of Fox & Robertson, working on behalf of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, brought the case on behalf of clients who use wheelchairs.

Abercrombi & Fitch, who owns Hollister, argues that the raised porch in front of its stores “is part of a brand design to convey a certain ambiance and appearance that makes the store inviting as a whole.” The court disagreed saying that design excludes people who use wheelchairs. The ADA requires that new buildings be accessible to those using wheelchairs.

Robertson will now ask the court to order all Hollister stores with steps to become accessible.

The Oakland, Calif., firm of Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson served as co-counsel in the lawsuit.