Burger King will eliminate architectural barriers to wheelchair users at dozens of its stores across the state of California, according to a proposed settlement in the second-phase of a class action lawsuit against the fast-food giant.
The settlement requires Burger King to put $19 million dollars into a settlement fund. This money would be used to compensate an estimated 800 people who were “denied on the basis of his/her mobility disability, full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodation” in 86 of Burger King’s California locations between October 16, 2006 and the date that the settlement receives final approval. The average recovery per class member is an estimated $8,200.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California must still approve the settlement.
In September 2008, Fox & Robertson and Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson filed a class action lawsuit against Burger King, alleging that the company was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as similar California laws, by failing to provide proper accomodations for people with disabilities in its stores.
On July 12, 2010, Burger King and the parties reached the first settlement in the case, which required Burger King to improve accessibility at 10 of its California stores.
Under the new proposed settlement, Burger King must remove its “L-shaped barriers” that forced customers to make only one line to the cash register, ensure doors are not too narrow or difficult to open, maintain accessible restrooms, improve parking options and place items, such as condiments and napkins, within arms length of people reaching from wheelchairs, among other changes. Burger King must also conduct regular surveys to monitor compliance at its stores.
The settlement does not require Burger King to make any admission of liability that it was out of compliance with federal or state law.