Tampa Rodeway Inn owners can't dodge lawsuit claiming online reservation system violates ADA

By Marian Johns | May 23, 2019

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TAMPA — A woman will be allowed to continue with her lawsuit accusing the Tampa Rodeway Inn of operating an online reservation system that does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Defendant Sai Ram Hotels LLC, owner of the Rodeway Inn at the Tampa Fairgrounds, filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff Patricia Kennedy's allegations of ADA violations. 

Kennedy, who claimed to be a frequent visitor to the Tampa area, filed the two-count complaint against Sai Ram Hotels after an April 2018 visit to the hotel. Kennedy alleges the hotel's "premises" did not comply with the ADA. Then in January 2019, while visiting the Rodeway Inn's website, Kennedy alleges she found no information available regarding the hotel's accessible features and rooms for disabled persons. She then filed the complaint against Ram seeking injunctive relief.

Sai Ram argues Kennedy's claim regarding the hotel's online reservation system should be dismissed because she "did not suffer a new injury" in January when she visited the hotel's website in January and only "encountered alleged barriers to determining the accessibility features of the hotel." It also argued that she gave no specific details about any future travel plans and visits to the hotel in order to allege future injury. 

U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, disagreed with Sai Ram's argument and concluded that Kennedy showed "insufficient detail" that the hotel's website did not identify details about the accessible rooms and that the "likelihood" of Kennedy visiting the hotel in the future is sufficient to show her suffering injury in the future. 

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