ORLANDO — The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, rejected a man's claims that a gas station violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), calling Houston's claims meritless.
Judge Daniel Irick had issued a report to the court, recommending it deny Joe Houston's motion "seeking a permanent injunction, declaratory relief, and “attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs" without prejudice and grant Houston a leave to refile.
Houston brought the suit in June, alleging Valero Barberville failed to maintain accessible features, did not provide an adequately wide travel path and failed to adhere to required reach limitations, among other violations. All such violations, Houston argued, are in direct violation of ADA.
The District Court found that Houston's objections were meritless because "[Houston] did not establish his ADA claim 'through well-pled facts' in the Complaint."
In the report, Irick noted that Houston "failed to show through well-pled facts" that Valero Berberville, and its owner Fifo Inc., satisfied all of the elements required to pursue actions under Title III of ADA.
To pursue violations under Title III, the plaintiff must present three elements: first, that the plaintiff is, in fact, a disabled individual; second, the defendant "owns, leases, leases to, or operates a place of public accommodation"; and third, that there was clear discrimination against the plaintiff
In Irick's report to the court, he cites multiple cases that provide the legal precedent for Houston's case. Instead of addressing the precedent, however, the court found that Houston argued cases from other district courts and "misrepresented several of his cited decisions."
The District Court in its review placed one exception. Houston will not "be granted leave to file another motion for final default and for injunctive relief because any such motion would be premised on Plaintiff’s deficient defaulted Complaint" as was recommended in the report.
Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. gave the opinion of the District Court on March 15.