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Mr. Smith's response to disability lawsuit

Mr. Smith's response to disability lawsuit

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Published by: Will Sommer on Nov 21, 2009
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Case 1:09-cv-01709-RMC

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

TAYLOR PRICE, Plaintiff, v. KIMBERLY, INC. d/b/a MR. SMITH’S OF GEORGETOWN & MR. SMITH’S MANAGEMENT COMPANY, INC. d/b/a MR. SMITH’S OF GEORGETOWN, Defendants. Civil Action No. 09-cv-1709-RMC

ANSWER Defendants Kimberly, Inc. and Mr. Smith’s Management Company, Inc. (collectively, “Mr. Smith’s” or “Defendants”) by their attorneys, state as follows:

NATURE OF ACTION 1. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 1 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. Defendants admit the allegation to the extent that this is an action for violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”), D.C. Code §§ 2-1401.01 et seq.

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JURISDICTION AND VENUE 2. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 2 of the

Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations in Paragraph 2 to the extent they conflict with the law. 3. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 3 of the

Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations in Paragraph 3 to the extent they conflict with the law 4. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 4. Defendants neither

admit nor deny the other allegations contained in Paragraph 4 of the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny those allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 5. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 5 of the

Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. THE PARTIES Plaintiff Taylor Price 6. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 6 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations.

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7.

Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 7 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 8. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 8 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 9. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 9 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 9 of the Complaint to the extent that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required to such allegations, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. Defendant Kimberly, Inc. 10. Defendants admit the allegations contained in Paragraph 10 of the Complaint that

Defendant Kimberly, Inc. is a corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia and has an address at 3104 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007. Kimberly, Inc. owns and operates a bar under the trade name “Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown.” 11. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 11 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law.

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12.

Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 12 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 13. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 13 of the Complaint.

Defendants admit, however, the allegations contained in Paragraph 13 of the Complaint to the extent that Defendant Kimberly, Inc, owns and operates Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown. Further, Defendants neither admit nor deny any other allegations contained in Paragraph 13 of the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 14. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 14 of the Complaint.

Defendants admit, however, the allegations contained in Paragraph 14 of the Complaint to the extent that Defendant Kimberly, Inc. transacts business in Washington, D.C. and owns and operates Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown. Further, Defendants neither admit nor deny the other allegations contained in Paragraph 14 of the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. Defendant Mr. Smith’s Management Company, Inc. 15. Defendants admit the allegations contained in Paragraph 15 of the Complaint that

Defendant Mr. Smith’s Management Company, Inc. is a corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia and has an address at 3104 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007. Upon information and belief, Mr. Smith’s Management Company, Inc. manages and operates Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown.

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16.

Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 16 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 17. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 17 of the Complaint.

Defendants admit, however, the allegations contained in Paragraph 17 of the Complaint to the extent that Defendant Mr. Smith’s Management Company owns and operates Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown. Further, Defendants neither admit nor deny any other allegations contained in Paragraph 17 of the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 18. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 18 of the Complaint.

Defendants admit, however, the allegations contained in Paragraph 18 of the Complaint to the extent that Defendant Mr. Smith’s Management Company transacts business in Washington, D.C. and owns and operates Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown. Further, Defendants neither admit nor deny the other allegations contained in Paragraph 18 of the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. ALLEGED FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS 19. Defendants admit the allegations contained in Paragraph 19 of the Complaint that

Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown, a restaurant and piano bar, is a popular location for D.C. residents and local college students, and particularly in Georgetown, to gather and celebrate events. The

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sign outside Mr. Smith’s – which is also found on the website and other advertising declares that the establishment is “the friendliest saloon in town.” 20. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 20 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 21. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 21 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 22. 23. 24. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 22. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 23. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 24. Defendants admit

the allegations contained in Paragraph 24 to the extent that Mr. Price had been to the back of the bar on several occasions. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 25. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 26. Defendants admit the allegations contained in Paragraph 27. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 28. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 29 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such

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allegations. Defendants admit the allegation that at a manager’s direction, a doorman escorted Mr. Price and Ms. Ward out of the bar. 30. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 30. Defendants admit

the allegations contained in Paragraph 30 to the extent that Mr. Price and Ms. Ward were escorted out a side door to the street. 31. 32. Defendants admit the allegations contained in Paragraph 31. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 32. Defendants admit

the allegations contained in Paragraph 32 to the extent that the manager told Mr. Price, “We have nothing further to discuss,” and went back inside Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown. 33. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 33 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 34. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 34 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 35. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 35 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations.

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36.

Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 36 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. 37. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 37of the Complaint.

Defendants admit, however, the allegation contained in Paragraph 37of the Complaint to the extent that they were given advance notice of this suit by letter dated August 26, 2009. 38. Defendants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the

truth of the allegations contained in Paragraph 38 of the Complaint, and therefore, deny such allegations. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 38 of the Complaint to the extent that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. COUNT I (Violation of Title III of the ADA for Denial of Access) 39. Defendants reallege and reassert their Answers to Paragraphs 1 through 38 as if

fully set forth herein. 40. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 40 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 41. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 41 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law.

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42. 43. 44. 45.

Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 42 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 43 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 44 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 45 of the Complaint. COUNT II (Violation of Title III of the ADA for Unequal Treatment)

46.

Defendants reallege and reassert their Answers to Paragraphs 1 through 45 as if

fully set forth herein. 47. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 47 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 48. 49. 50. 51. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 48 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 49 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 50 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 51 of the Complaint. COUNT III (Violation of Title III of the ADA for Imposition of Eligibility Criteria) 52. Defendants reallege and reassert their Answers to Paragraphs 1 through 51 as if

fully set forth herein.

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53.

Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 53 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 54. 55. 56. 57. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 54 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 55 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 56 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 57 of the Complaint. COUNT IV (Violation of Title III of the ADA for Failure to Modify Policies) 58. Defendants reallege and reassert their Answers to Paragraphs 1 through 57 as if

fully set forth herein. 59. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 59 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 60. 61. 62. 63. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 60 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 61 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 62 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 63 of the Complaint.

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COUNT V (Violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act) 64. Defendants reallege and reassert their Answers to Paragraphs 1 through 63 as if

fully set forth herein. 65. Defendants neither admit nor deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 65 of

the Complaint on the basis that no factual allegations are asserted. To the extent that a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations to the extent they conflict with the law. 66. 67. 68. 69. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 66 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 67 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 68 of the Complaint. Defendants deny the allegations contained in Paragraph 69 of the Complaint. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Denied. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES Defendants assert the affirmative defenses set forth below. By pleading these affirmative defenses, Defendants do not intend to alter the burden of proof and/or burden of persuasion that otherwise exists with respect to any issues in this action. First Affirmative Defense The Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Second Affirmative Defense Plaintiff’s claims are barred for lack of standing.

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Third Affirmative Defense Plaintiff’s claims are barred in whole or in part by 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(3). Fourth Affirmative Defense Plaintiff’s claims are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of unclean hands. Fifth Affirmative Defense Defendants reserve all rights to assert any additional affirmative defenses to those asserted herein.

Dated: November 9, 2009

Respectfully submitted, KIMBERLY, INC. d/b/a MR. SMITH’S OF GEORGETOWN and MR. SMITH’S MANAGEMENT CO., INC. d/b/a MR. SMITH’S OF GEORGETOWN by Counsel By: _/s/_______________________________ Todd A. Bromberg (D.C. Bar No. 472554) Jamie A. Aycock (D.C. Bar No. 974343) Wiley Rein LLP Washington, DC 20006 Tel: (202) 719-7000 Fax: (202) 719-7049 Attorneys for Kimberly, Inc. d/b/a Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown and Mr. Smith’s Management Co., Inc. d/b/a Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on this 9th day of November, 2009 a copy of the foregoing document was served via the Court’s CM/ECF system upon the following: J. Douglas Baldridge (D.C. Bar #437678) Danielle R. Foley (D.C. Bar #464482) Joeann E. Walker (Not Admitted in D.C.) VENABLE LLP 575 7th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 Tel.: 202.344.4703 Fax: 202.344.8300 E. Elaine Gardner (D.C. Bar #271262) WASHINGTON LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND URBAN AFFAIRS 11 Dupont Circle, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 Tel.: 202.319.1000 Fax: 202.319.1010

________/s/______________________ Jamie A. Aycock

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