A California man alleges in a proposed class action that some of discount retailer Five Below’s locations in the state unlawfully lack accessible parking lots and restrooms.
According to the 26-page lawsuit, the retailer has run afoul of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a state law which prohibits businesses from discriminating based on disability and requires that they provide to individuals with disabilities full access to their public facilities and services. The plaintiff, who uses a wheelchair, claims he was denied equal access to the defendant’s stores as a result of the company’s near-uniform failure to comply with state accessibility standards, the suit alleges.
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The plaintiff, who the case describes as a T-7 incomplete paraplegic who requires a wheelchair for mobility, experienced discrimination at a Five Below location that he visited in September 2022, the case says. Per the complaint, the man was unable to park in a handicap-accessible parking space because the store’s parking lot lacked the required number of accessible parking spots and did not have posted signs deterring the use of such spaces by individuals without a disability.
Inside the store, the plaintiff was unable to use the restroom without assistance given that the door required too much force to open and did not remain open long enough for him to enter unassisted with his wheelchair, the filing says. Further, the plaintiff could not use the toilet because the stall door did not have an accessible lock system that would allow him to close and lock it, the lawsuit relays. As the suit tells it, the man was also unable to wash his hands because the pipes underneath the sink were exposed, which he feared would burn his legs, and the paper towel dispenser was out of reach.
According to the suit, all buildings constructed or altered in California after July 1, 1970 must comply with state physical accessibility standards. The plaintiff believes Five Below will maintain its allegedly discriminatory practices given that the retailer has “failed to bring existing stores into compliance for over twenty (20) years” and has expanded to new locations that are also purportedly out of step with state standards, the case says.
The complaint alleges that the following Five Below locations in California violate state law by failing to provide nondiscriminatory access to individuals with disabilities:
2 South Garfield Ave., Alhambra, CA
802 W. Arrow Hwy., San Dimas, CA
2444 Foothill Blvd., La Verne, CA
2700 E. Workman St., Ste. B, West Covina, CA
1134 S. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA
2226 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, CA
586 Euclid St., Anaheim, CA
9921 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, CA
18309 Brookhurst St., Suite 5, Fountain Valley, CA
8371 La Palma Ave., Buena Park, CA
1785 Alameda St., Compton, CA
14350 Ocean Gate Ave., Hawthorne, CA
13, 8512-A Painter Ave., Whittier, CA
8850 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivers, CA
886 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, CA
2401 Via Campo, Montebello, CA
10653 Valley Blvd., El Monte, CA
39180 10+ St. W, Palmdale, CA
24355 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Santa Clarita, CA
25670 The Old Rd., Stevenson Ranch, CA
1555 Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA
19881 Rinaldi St., Porter Ranch, CA
7880 Van Nuys Blvd., Panorama City, CA
5545 E. Steams St., Long Beach, CA
The lawsuit looks to represent any mobility-impaired and/or wheelchair-bound individuals residing in California who have patronized any of the Five Below locations listed on this page and who have been denied equal access to the stores’ goods, services, facilities, and/or accommodations at any time before January 27, 2023.
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