WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a comprehensive settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with QuikTrip Corporation, a private company that owns and operates more than 550 gas stations, convenience stores, travel centers, and truck stops in the Midwest, South and Southwestern United States. Under the consent decree, which was filed today along with a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, QuikTrip will create a $1.5 million compensatory damages fund for individuals who were victims of discrimination based on disability, as well as take various steps to make its stores accessible.
The Justice Department initially opened the investigation in response to complaints about inaccessible parking by two individuals with disabilities in the Omaha, Neb., area. The lawsuit filed by the Justice Department alleges that the investigation revealed a nationwide pattern and practice of discrimination on the basis of disability. QuikTrip Corporation worked with the Justice Department to amicably resolve the matter without active litigation.
“On July 26, 2010, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA, a landmark civil rights law that ensures equal access and equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Ensuring full and equal access to all businesses open to the public is a top priority, and the Justice Department is committed to vigorous enforcement of the ADA to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
“Convenience stores and gas stations are a critical part of everyday life in America, and these facilities must afford equal access to individuals with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Perez. “QuikTrip has worked cooperatively with the department so we could resolve this case without active litigation and has affirmed its commitment to serving individuals with disabilities by taking the necessary actions to achieve ADA compliance at all of its stores.”
Under the settlement, which remains subject to court approval, QuikTrip Corporation will:
The consent decree was reached under Title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by businesses that are open to the public, including gas stations, convenience stores, and other retailers, both large and small. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at the website www.justice.gov/crt . More information about the settlement with QuikTrip can be found at www.ada.gov or by calling the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).