Two disabled Orange County men who sued the Meridian Sports Club and the City of Fullerton for repeatedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California laws designed to mandate equal access to businesses have won a substantial settlement.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford in Santa Ana approved a deal that calls on the gym paying Robert Carr and Arnie Pike $18,750 a month beginning this month until $150,000 has been relinquished in February 2013.
Lawyers for Meridian included language in the settlement that specifics that the deal “shall not be construed as an admission of any of the claims” in the federal lawsuit.
Using Encino-based lawyers Patricia Barbosa and Jordon Metz, Carr–a double amputee as the result of diabetes–and Pike–a quadriplegic as the result of several strokes–filed their civil rights lawsuit inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in April 2011.
The men claim that the gym refused to make exercise equipment as well as pool, sauna and shower areas easily accessible for the disabled. They also complained about the parking lot and the lack of a unisex shower area that would permit them to use female assistants.
A jury trial of about three to five days had been scheduled before the parties reached the settlement.
Conception Ramirez, a onetime Meridian Sports Club employee, sued the gym in December 2011 for wrongful termination after claiming that a male supervisor liked to flash his penis and make sexual demands. That lawsuit, which is in state court, is set for a January 2013 jury trial.