Dismissed: Suit alleging Church’s Chicken restroom wheelchair inaccessible

David Yates Jan. 23, 2015, 12:10pm

An order of dismissal was recently filed in suit claiming the bathroom in a fast food restaurant was wheelchair inaccessible.

As previously reported, Nimat Abdullah filed a lawsuit July 24 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against BAH Texas LLC, doing business as Church’s Chicken, citing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Abdullah, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair, ordered food at Church’s Chicken on South Post Oak Road, and then attempted to use the restroom, where she found the door too narrow for wheelchair access and the stalls too narrow, without the required grab handles, despite the wheelchair-accessible sign on the door.

In her suit, Abdullah says she was forced to leave her wheelchair outside the restroom, which was possible for her but increased her strain and risk of injury, in order to avoid embarrassment.

She accused Church’s Chicken of violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Texas Accessibility Standards under the Texas Architectural Barriers Act, and Chapter 121 of the Texas Human Resources Code.

Abdullah sought financial compensation for each violation, as well as a permanent injunction requiring Church’s to resolve all violations and make the establishment fully accessible to people with physical disabilities.

Court records show that on Dec. 4 a notice of settlement was filed in the case, stating the parties have reached a full and final settlement.

That same day, Judge Keith Ellison dismissed the case without prejudice. After 60 days, the claims will be dismissed with prejudice unless a party moves for reinstatement or an extension of the conditional dismissal period.

Attorneys Amin Alehashem, Joseph C. Berra and James C. Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project in Houston represent Abdullah.

Case No. 4:14-cv-02118

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