The proposed class action detailed on this page has been dismissed with prejudice, with U.S. District Judge William Alsup tossing the suit on September 30 over the plaintiffs’ failure to properly state a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Judge Alsup summarized that the plaintiffs failed to show they were discriminated against on their basis of their disability, as well as effectively support their claims that they are disabled within the meaning of the ADA, a three-element test that includes showing that the activity the plaintiffs rely upon is considered a “major life activity.”
“Specifically, as a matter of judicial common sense, plaintiffs’ claims rely on the life activity of driving, not seeing,” the judge wrote in the eight-page filing dismissing the case. “Indeed, plaintiffs’ own opposition brief illustrates this point: stating that ‘[p]laintiffs allege that the impairment is substantial in that it prevents them from safely operating motor vehicles’…”
Driving is not a major life activity under the ADA, Judge Alsup wrote, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show that driving, in particular to access a drive-thru “for the purpose of enjoying a late-night burger,” is a major life activity under the law.
Jack in the Box, Inc. has discriminated against those with visual disabilities by offering drive-thru-only service inaccessible to pedestrians during late-night hours, according to a proposed class action lawsuit out of California.
The two plaintiffs, who are both visually impaired, say they attempted to patronize the defendant’s restaurants but were denied service due to Jack in the Box’s policy of serving food and drinks through only the drive-thru window during late-night hours. The case explains that Jack in the Box drive-thrus are accessible only by motor vehicle and not to pedestrians, per the defendants’ policies.
According to the lawsuit, blind and visually impaired individuals are denied equal access to Jack in the Box’s goods and services given they cannot operate a vehicle and are therefore “totally precluded” from accessing the restaurants’ products after the dining room closes.
“While Jack in the Box’s sighted customers have the opportunity to independently browse, select, and pay for products at Defendant’s drive-thrus without the assistance of others, visually-impaired people must hope for a companion with a car or paid taxi services to assist them in selecting and purchasing Jack in the Box food,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit alleges that Jack in the Box, which operates over 2,200 restaurants across the U.S., applies the same policies and practices across all of its locations.
Citing possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the case argues that there are “a variety of modest accommodations” Jack in the Box could implement that would provide blind and visually impaired people equal access to the restaurants’ late-night services.
“However, Jack in the Box does not employ any such policy or practice,” the case claims.
The suit against Jack in the Box follows similar cases filed againstTaco BellandWendy’slast fall over the restaurant chains’ alleged late-night drive-thru-only policies and inaccessibility for visually impaired consumers.
The plaintiffs seek to represent anyone who is unable to drive due to a visual disability and has been denied access to Jack in the Box restaurants in the U.S. when the eateries’ services are only available via drive-thru. The case proposes both a nationwide class and a sub-class of California residents.