This may be the strangest charitable donation request you’ve ever gotten. I’m asking you to donate to the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition because the El Diablo restaurant closed.*
CCDC’s legal team of Kevin Williams and Andrew Montoya represented CCDC and several Mexican food enthusiasts who use wheelchairs in challenging the fact that the owners of El Diablo took an accessible space — in, btw, a beautiful old building in a booming neighborhood — and turned it into a largely inaccessible restaurant by adding raised areas that were not originally there.
Two years, summary judgment for plaintiffs, and a couple hundred thousand in legal fees later — just at the point where the judge was about to order El Diablo to restore accessibility — the city shut it down for (unrelated) code violations. It reopened, reshut, reopened, reshut, declared bankruptcy, reopened, and — after the latest violation notice from the city — closed for good.
Bottom line: CCDC spent a lot of attorney time on this case, won the case on summary judgment, and will not see a dime in attorneys’ fees. Please join us in contributing to CCDC.**
If you’ve heard enough, just click on through to the donation page and send them some cash. If you want to know more about this case, here are some links:
- More snarky commentary about the defense counsel’s accusation that alleging discrimination when an accessible space is rendered inaccessible constitutes defamation.
This part of the ADA — requiring businesses to be accessible — has no damages remedy. The only way lawyers can bring these cases is because the ADA makes defendants pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees when they lose. But lawyers like the great team at CCDC always work under the threat that they’ll spend years on a case — and achieve excellent legal results — only to have it disappear. That happened here.
* This photo is actually from January, but it’s more dramatic than anything I could find for the Final Shut Down.
** If you’re not comfortable with the online donation site — which seems highly unlikely if you’re reading a cutting edge blog like this one! — you can send a check to CCDC at 655 Broadway, Suite 775, Denver, Colorado 80203.