United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Padraigin L. Browne, Browne Law, LLC, Counsel for Plaintiff.
L. Novotny, Cousineau, Van Bergen, McGee & Malone, P.A.,
Counsel for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis, United States District Court.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion for
brought this action in April 2016 against Defendant Holiday
Stationstores, Inc. (“Holiday”) alleging that
Holiday violated the ADA and the MHRA at its store located at
1901 Adams St., Mankato, Minnesota. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that when visiting this Holiday store, he observed
that two parking spaces were reserved as accessible parking
spaces, but both spaces lacked signage. (Comp. ¶ 12.)
Plaintiff further alleges that one accessible parking space
lacked an adjacent access aisle. (Id.) In addition,
the top of the curb ramp was obstructed by a garbage can.
(Id. ¶ 13.) A photograph of the parking space
is attached to the Complaint.
response to Plaintiff's complaint, Holiday asserts it
took prompt action to address each of the issues raised by
Plaintiff in his Complaint. In addition, Holiday asserts that
Plaintiff cannot present any evidence that a physical barrier
actually hindered his ability to access and patronize the
store such that he suffered an actual injury. Instead,
Holiday argues the facts reflect that Plaintiff could have
parked in at least one of the parking spaces which had an
adjacent access aisle and used the ramp to access the
sidewalk that led directly into the store. Instead, it
appears that Plaintiff simply chose not to patronize the
Standard for Summary Judgment
judgment is appropriate if, viewing all facts in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986). The party seeking summary judgment bears the burden
of showing that there is no disputed issue of material fact.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. “A dispute is
genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a
reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact
is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the
case.” Amini v. City of Minneapolis, 643 F.3d
1068, 1074 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 252 (1986)). The party
opposing summary judgment may not rest upon mere allegations
or denials, but must set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Krenik v. County of
Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995).
argues that under the ADA, Plaintiff is entitled only to
injunctive relief for the claim asserted. See Wojewski v.
Rapid City Reg'l Hosp., Inc., 450 F.3d 338, 342 (8th
Cir. 2006) (finding that Title III provide only injunctive
relief). In this case, Holiday has provided the affidavit of
John Baregi, Vice President of Engineering, in which he
discussed the upgrades to the handicapped parking at the
Mankato store to address the issues in Plaintiff's
complaint. Attached to the affidavit of Tamara Novotny are
photographs of the upgrades which show ADA compliant
handicapped parking. These photographs were taken by
Plaintiff's counsel. (Novotny Aff. ¶ 4.)
Accordingly, Holiday argues this claim should be dismissed as
does not oppose dismissal of his ADA claim on the basis that
such claim is moot. (Plaintiff Mem. Opp. at 4.) This claim
will be dismissed.
moves to dismiss his claims under the MHRA on the basis that
Plaintiff lacks standing to assert a such a claim. Under
Minnesota law, standing is a jurisdictional concept that
“requires that a party must have sufficient personal
interest in the legal dispute so that it is appropriate to
allow that party to pursue litigation.” Krueger v.
Zeman Const. Co., 781 N.W.2d 858, 861 (Minn. 2010).
Standing exists if a party has suffered an injury in fact -
that is a concrete and particularized invasion of a legally
protected interest.” Id. To assert a claim
under the MHRA, “the act of discrimination itself
constitutes sufficient injury for the law to provide a
remedy, in the absence of statutory language requiring
more.” Id. (quoting Potter v. LaSalle
Court Sports & Health Club, 384 N.W.2d 873, 875
(Minn. 1986)). It ...