Settlement Agreement Among The United States Of America And The Owner And The Operator Of The Days Inn Hotel, Located In Mountain City, Tennessee

UNDER THE AMERICAN WITH DISABILITIES ACT

DJ 202-70-19

BACKGROUND

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12189, with the United States Department of Justice ("the Department") against the owner and the operator ("Owner and Operator") of the Days Inn Hotel in Mountain City, Tennessee ("facility"). The complainant alleged that the facility does not have guest rooms that are accessible to persons with hearing impairments. The Department's investigation of the complaint has confirmed these allegations. The Department's investigation revealed, too, that the two guest rooms designated for persons with mobility impairments were not fully accessible to and usable by them.
  2. The Attorney General is authorized to enforce title III of the ADA by seeking damages, civil penalties, and full compliance with title III's provisions, including requiring the owners and operators of a place of public accommodation to make it readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 36 C.F.R. ァァ 36.504(a)(1)(iii), (2), and (3). The Attorney General may commence a civil action to enforce title III in any situation where the Attorney General believes a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or a matter of general public importance is raised. Id. at ァ12188(b)(1)(B).
  3. The Days Inn in Mountain City, Tennessee is a place of lodging. As such, the facility is a place of public accommodation under title III of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.104.
  4. Donald Tarr owns the facility in his personal capacity.
  5. Landmark Hospitality operates the facility.
  6. A public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA is a private entity who owns, operates, leases to (or leases from) a place of public accommodation. Mr. Tarr and Landmark Hospitality are both public accommodations subject to title III of the ADA. As such, each has an independent obligation to comply with title III's provisions.
  7. Mr. Tarr and Landmark Hospitality independently agree to undertake the barrier removal steps outlined in this settlement agreement, to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who have hearing impairments or mobility impairments, have an opportunity equal to that of others to enjoy the facility's amenities.
  8. The parties have determined that Department of Justice complaint 202-70-19 can be resolved through compromise and without litigation. Accordingly, each agrees to the terms set forth in this document. In exchange for this agreement, the Department of Justice will not seek monetary damages or civil penalties, or to litigate this matter, except as provided below.

REMEDIAL ACTION

  1. The Owner and Operator are independently be responsible for each of the actions listed below.
  2. To ensure the facility's guest rooms are accessible to persons with hearing impairments, within 30 days of the effective date of this agreement, the Owner and Operator agree to:
    1. Provide the equivalent of four rooms that are accessible to people with hearing impairments. The elements of these rooms will comply with Standards ァ 9 and will include visual notification devices that alert occupants to telephone calls, visual emergency alarm signals that are viewable from all parts of the guest room (including the bathroom), visual door knockers, volume-controlled telephones, TTY's, and an electrical outlet within four feet of the telephone connection. Except for the visual emergency alarm signal devices - which must be hard-wired into the standard alarm system - the required devices may be portable and installed upon request.
    2. Maintain a TTY at the facility's Front Desk, so that guests with hearing impairments can order room service, housekeeping, and other in-facility services that are available via in-room telephone to other guests.
    3. On a regular basis, train employees regarding TTY etiquette and the availability and proper installation of the communication devices.
  3. The facility already contains two rooms that are designated for persons with mobility impairments. Within six months of the effective date of this agreement, to ensure these rooms are fully accessible to persons with mobility impairments, in each such room the Owner and Operator agree to:
    1. Provide door hardware on all doors that is operable with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. This hardware will comply with Standards ァ 4.13.9.
    2. Provide a toilet where the centerline is exactly 18 inches from a side wall, the top of the toilet seat is between 17 and 19 inches above the finish floor, the flush control is on the open side of the room, and there is a minimum of 18 inches between the toilet centerline and the side face of the lavatory to permit a person to transfer from a wheelchair. These elements will comply with Standards ァァ 4.16.2, 4.16.3, 4.16.5 & Fig. 28, 4.22.4.
    3. Provide a side grab bar so that the end nearest the back wall begins no more than 12 inches from the wall, is at least 42 inches long, and the end farthest from the back wall is located at least 54 inches from the back wall. The space between the wall and the grab bar should be exactly 1-1/2 inches. These elements will comply with the Standards ァァ 4.22.4., 4.16.4 & Fig. 29(b).
    4. Provide a rear grab bar that is at least 36 inches long with the end closer to the side wall mounted at least 12 inches from the centerline of the toilet, i.e., no more than 6 inches from the side wall. The space between the wall and the grab bar should be exactly 1-1/2 inches. These elements will comply with Standards ァァ 4.22.4, 4.16.4 & Fig.29(a).
    5. Provide a mirror so that the bottom edge of the reflecting surface of the mirror is no higher than 40 inches above the finish floor. This element will comply with Standards ï½§ï½§ 4.19.6 and 4.22.6.
    6. Provide lavatory controls that are operable with one hand and do not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrists to operate. This element will comply with Standards ァァ 4.22.6, 4.19.5, and 4.27.4.
    7. Provide adequate clear floor space to permit a wheelchair to approach and its user transfer onto the toilet. This element will comply with Standards Fig. 28.
    8. Provide a fixed seat in the bathtub. This element will comply with Standards ァァ 4.20.3 and 4.26.3.
    9. Provide grab bars and a control knob in the bathtub in the dimensions and locations illustrated in Figure 34 of the Standards, and a control mechanism that does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate, that also complies with the Standards; see ァァ 4.20.3, 4.20.4, 4.27.4 & Fig. 34.
    10. Provide a sign outside the door to each such room, using raised and Brailled characters, with required finish and contrast, and mounted on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door so that the centerline of the sign is 60 inches above the finish floor and a person can approach within 3 inches of the signage without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of a door. These elements will comply with ァァ 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5, 4.30.6.
REPORTING
  1. With 45 days of the effective date of this agreement, the Owner and Operator will submit a report to the Department regarding the steps taken to ensure that the facility's guest rooms (and Front Desk services) are accessible to persons with hearing impairments. The report will include copies of receipts for the communication kits or devices purchased by Owner or Operator to comply with this agreement, as well as a copy of the training materials used to train Front Desk staff.
  2. Within eight months of the effective date of this agreement, the Owner and Operator will submit a report to the Department summarizing the remaining actions they have taken pursuant to this agreement. The report will include detailed photographs of the architectural modifications required by this agreement and clearly show the dimensions of the various elements and spaces so that compliance with the ADA Standards and this Agreement may be determined.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this agreement or any of its requirements have been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this agreement or the requirements of the title III, following written notices to the Owner and Operator of possible violations and a period of 10 days in which each has the opportunity to cure the alleged violations. If the Department has to enforce the provisions of this agreement, it may seek damages, civil penalties, and all other relief authorized by law.
  2. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire agreement or any of its provisions or deadlines as to one or more of the parties shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this agreement.
  3. This agreement shall be binding on the Owner and Operator and their successors in interest. The Owner and Operator have a duty to notify all such successors in interest of this agreement and the duties and responsibilities it imposes on them.

IMPLEMENTATION

  1. This agreement is a public agreement. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by Owner or Operator or the Department.
  2. The effective date of this agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  3. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement among the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions.
  4. This agreement is limited to the facts set forth above the does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This agreement does not affect the Owner's and Operators's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA, including the ongoing obligation to engage in readily achievable barrier removal.
  5. This agreement will remain in effect for ten months from the effective date of this agreement or until the parties agree that full compliance with this agreement by the Days Inn Hotel has been achieved.
  6. FOR OPERATOR LANDMARK
    HOSPITALITY:

    _______________________________________      Date:_10/11/2002__
    SAM SHAH
    President of Operations
    Landmark Hospitality

    FOR OWNER DONALD TARR:

    _____________________________
    DONALD TARR

    FOR THE UNITED STATES:

    RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
    Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

    By: ________________________________      Date:_10/05/2002__
       JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
       SUSAN BUCKINGHAM. REILLY, Deputy Chief
       MARY LOU MOBLEY, Supervisory Attorney
       KIMBERLY HOWARD, Investigative Assistant

       U.S. Department of Justice
       Civil Rights Division
       950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
       Disability Rights Section - NYA
       Washington, DC 20530

    >
Updated August 6, 2015

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