Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The Owner Of Sunflower Shopping Center, Poplarville, Ms

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-41-32

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") of 1990, 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12189, with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi against the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center, Poplarville, Mississippi. The complaint alleges that the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center failed to remove architectural barriers, though their removal was readily achievable. 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.304 and 42 U.S.C. ァ 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv).
  2. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center. All references below are to the provisions of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards"), 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.
  3. Mr. Thomas Rawls is the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center, which is a place of public accommodation as defined by 28 C.F.R. Part 36 ァ 36.104; 42 U.S.C. ァ 12181. Sunflower Shopping Center consists of one multi-tenant building which houses a number of retail outlets, including a restaurant, grocery store, pharmacy, an electronics store, and an auto parts store.
  4. Within 90 days of the effective date of this agreement, the owner agrees to remove architectural barriers as follows:

    Parking/Approach Issues

  5. All existing designated accessible parking spaces will be abandoned.

    Sunflower Foods Entrance

  6. A van accessible parking space in the Universal Design with proper signage will be placed directly in front of the Sunflower Foods entrance in compliance with Standard ァ A4.6.3.
  7. The existing curb ramp will be removed and a new curb ramp will be installed, which will comply with all relevant provisions of the Standards, including but not limited to Standards ァァ 4.7 and 4.8, including but not limited to ァァ 4.7.5, 4.7.6 and 4.8.2.
  8. The 18" gap between the top of the new curb ramp and the existing sidewalk will be removed by the creation of a flush transition. An additional five foot access aisle will be added to serve the new curb ramp per Standards ァ 4.6.3.

    Pharmacy Entrance

  9. An accessible parking space in the Universal Design with proper signage will be placed in the front of the pharmacy in compliance with Standard ァ A4.6.3.
  10. The existing parking barriers will be removed and a new curb ramp will be installed, which will comply with all relevant provisions of Standards ァァ4.7 and 4.8, including but not limited to ァァ 4.7.5, 4.7.6 and 4.8.2.

    Lagniappe Restaurant

  11. An accessible parking space in the Universal Design with proper signage will be placed at the left end of the parking lot facing the Lagniappe Restaurant in compliance with Standards ァ A 4.6.3. An access aisle for this space will be installed and aligned with the existing covered concrete walk that serves the front of the strip mall.
  12. A new curb ramp will be installed to serve the accessible parking space. This new curb ramp will comply with all relevant provisions of Standards ァ 4.7 and 4.8, including but not limited to ァァ 4.7.5, 4.7.6, and 4.8.2.
  13. The existing designated accessible parking space located directly in front of the restaurant entrance will be used as an auxiliary accessible parking space and is intended to be used by ambulatory individuals who will benefit from the close proximity of the parking space to the restaurant's entrance. Signage will be added which properly defines the intended use of this parking space.
  14. The storm grate located in front of the restaurant will be elevated to eliminate the existing one-inch gap between the grate and the surface of the parking lot.
  15. In order to create an accessible approach to the restaurant entrance, concrete ramps will be installed on both sides of the entry stoop to the restaurant in compliance with Standards ァ 4.8.
  16. The existing door knob to the restaurant will be replaced with hardware that meets the requirements of Standards ァ 4.13.9.

    Accessible Routes

  17. The covered concrete walk along the front of the building includes two improperly constructed ramps: one is located between the Sunflower Foods and the Pharmacy and the other is located between the Pharmacy and the Radio Shack. The ramped portions will be removed and reconstructed so that the slope of the sidewalk will be no greater than 1:12 as required by Standards ァ 4.82.
  18. The covered sidewalk will be modified to create a level surface at least 36 inches wide as required by Standards ァァ 4.3.3 and 4.3.8. To accomplish this, the existing wheel stops and bollards will be removed and reinstalled between the widened sidewalk and the adjacent parking spaces.
  19. The owner agrees to modify the slopes and bring the surface of the parking lot into compliance with Standards ァァ 4.3, 4.5, and 4.6.3 the next time the facility is altered. See paragraph 6 and 8 above.

    Enforcement

  20. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between 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.
  21. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to investigate alleged violations of Title III 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(1). The Department of Justice is also authorized to commence a civil action in United States District Court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties. 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12188(a)(2) and 12188(b). In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth herein, the Department of Justice agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.
  22. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. In the event that the owner fails to comply in a timely fashion with any requirement of this agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as to a temporary modification of the relevant terms of the agreement, the United States may institute a civil action in the federal district court for the Southern District of Mississippi, or any other appropriate federal district court. The owner shall be liable to the Department of Justice for a civil penalty of no less than $5,000 for each required action not taken, in addition to any appropriate compensatory damages caused by the failure to comply; and such failure shall be considered a subsequent violation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(2)(C)(ii).
  23. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement, or any provision thereof, with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein, will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  24. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth herein and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the continuing responsibility of the owner and operators of Sunflower Shopping Center to comply with all aspects of Title III of the ADA.
  25. This Agreement shall be binding upon the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center and its successors in interest, and the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center has a duty to notify all such successors in interest of these obligations and to include in all future documents transferring any right or interest in the facility any obligations to comply with this Agreement not retained by the owner of Sunflower Shopping Center.
  26. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document, or any information contained in it, may be made available to any person. The owner of Sunflower Shopping Center shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
  27. Each signer of this document for Sunflower Shopping Center represents that he or she is authorized to bind Sunflower Shopping Center to this Agreement.
  28. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

    For Sunflower Shopping Center:

    By:_____________________________      Date:__________
       THOMAS RAWLS
       Owner of Sunflower Shopping Center
       Poplarville, MS

    For the United States:

    BRAD PIGOTT
    United States Attorney

    By:_____________________________      Date:___________
       PSHON BARRETT
       Assistant United States Attorney
       Southern District of Mississippi

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Updated August 6, 2015

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