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Steele v. Panos Properties LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 15, 2017

SARAH STEELE, Plaintiff,
v.
PANOS PROPERTIES LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 7). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby DENIES Plaintiff's motion and GRANTS summary judgment in favor of Defendant for the reasons explained herein.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Sarah Steele relies on a wheelchair for her mobility and has a state-issued disabled parking permit. (Dkt. No. 9.) Plaintiff is a patron of businesses at Kirkland Square. (Id.) Defendant Panos Properties owns Kirkland Square. (Dkt. No. 8.) On her visits to Kirkland Square, Plaintiff observed and dealt with multiple issues with the parking lot such as (1) the absence of a “van accessible” handicap parking spot, (2) curb ramps that were too steep, (3) lack of an access aisle or one that was too narrow, (4) improper or absent signage, and (5) the run slope of one handicap space was too steep. (Dkt. No. 9.)

         Through her attorney, Plaintiff informed Defendant of these alleged deficiencies. The subsequent events leading up to and involving this lawsuit are vital to this Court's decision, and will be listed chronologically.

• January 17, 2017 - Plaintiff's counsel sends Defendant a letter notifying it of the alleged Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations. (Dkt. No. 15 at 5.)
• January 31, 2017 - Defendant responds that it intends to cure any aspects of the parking lot that are not in compliance with the ADA and that it has hired an architect to evaluate the parking lot. (Id. at 7.)
• February 1, 2017 - Plaintiff acknowledges receipt of the letter and states “we do not wish to sue anyone unless it is necessary to reach compliance with the law.” (Id. at 9.)
• February 17, 2017 - Defendant emails Plaintiff requesting some specificity as to what needs to be changed in the parking lot. (Id. at 16.) Plaintiff responds, “As I mentioned, assuming the architect agrees with my view and our client's view of the parking, it will immediately recognize the deficiency and need to address it properly. Otherwise, I can only recommend a full assessment of the property for ADA-compliance.” (Id. at 15.)
• February 28, 2017 - Defendant's architect evaluates the parking lot. (Dkt. No. 17 at 2.)
• March 1, 2017 - Defendant's architect provides recommendations to bring the parking lot into compliance with the ADA. (Id.)
• March 2, 2017 - Defendant contacts its contractor, who in turn contacts its architect to draw up the plans to be submitted to the City of Kirkland. (Id.)
• March 9, 2017 - Defendant's contractor submits the permit application to the City of Kirkland for approval. (Id.)
• March 16, 2017 - Plaintiff emails Defendant to inform it that Plaintiff's counsel visited the site and nothing was underway and that she will be filing a lawsuit the following week unless she ...

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