Sacramento Team Obtains Dismissal of Class Action “Drive-Thru” Disability Claim

October 2020

Sacramento senior partner Mark Posard and senior counsel Scott McLeod obtained dismissal of a disability claim against the firm’s client, a national fast food franchisor.

Plaintiffs filed a putative class action, alleging the restaurants discriminated against visually impaired persons who could not obtain service during late-night hours when service was available solely through the drive-thru. Plaintiffs argued that because pedestrians are not permitted to walk through the drive-thru, and because they cannot drive due to vision impairment, the drive-thru policy discriminated against them on the basis of disability.

The plaintiffs asserted their claims on behalf of a putative nationwide class of visually impaired persons. The restaurants moved to dismiss the claim, contending that the policy does not discriminate on the basis of disability. In a matter of first impression in the Northern District, Judge William Alsup agreed and granted the restaurants’ motion to dismiss. The court agreed that the restaurants’ drive-thru policy does not burden visually impaired persons in a manner different than or greater than it affects non-disabled pedestrians, who likewise cannot obtain service during late-night hours.

Judge Alsup dismissed the complaint in its entirety and entered judgment in favor of the restaurants.