Settlement Agreement Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Among The United States Of America, British Petroleum (b.p.) Sun Do Shop, And Oliver Oil Company

COMPLAINT Number 202-54-17

Background

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the United States Department of Justice ("the Department") against the B.P. Sun Do Shop, located at Carthage Road, Lumberton, North Carolina. The complaint was received by the Department on June 2, 1994, and was filed by XX XXX and her husband, XX XXX. XX XXX is an individual with a severe hearing loss who uses a service animal for alerting her to sound. The complaint was investigated by the Department under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188. The complaint alleged that the manager of the B.P. Sun Do Shop denied her the right to be accompanied by her service dog while entering the area of the gas station where customers pay for their gas and buy assorted items, and further denied her the right to be accompanied by her service dog while utilizing a restroom.

Intention of the Parties to Effect Settlement

  1. The parties to this agreement are the United States of America and Lawrence H. "Sonny" Oliver, Sr. and Doris S. Oliver, as owners and operators of the B.P. Sun Do Shop and the Oliver Oil Company.
  2. The parties enter into this settlement agreement in order to avoid litigation and hereby agree as follows:

Jurisdiction

  1. Title III of the ADA applies to Lawrence H. "Sonny" Oliver, Sr. and Doris S. Oliver because they own and operate the B.P. Sun Do Shop, a place of public accommodation and are, therefore, public accommodations as defined in section 301(7) of the ADA and section 36.104 of the regulation promulgated under title III of the ADA (the "Regulation"). 28 C.F.R., Part 36.
  2. The subject of this settlement agreement is the establishment of nondiscriminatory policies, practices, or procedures, pursuant to section 302(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the ADA and section 36.302 of the Regulation. Section 36.302(a) of the Regulation provides:

A public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.

Section 36.302(c)(1) provides:

Generally, a public accommodation shall modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.

    Statement of the Facts

    1. The B.P. Sun Do Shop is a gas station and service establishment located at Carthage Road, Lumberton, North Carolina, and is owned by Lawrence H. "Sonny" Oliver, Sr. and Doris S. Oliver. Lawrence and Doris Oliver also own eight other service stations.
    2. The B.P. Sun Do Shop has items for sale in the interior of the store, and has one restroom.
    3. XX XXX has a severe hearing impairment and uses a service dog. She is an individual with a disability within the meaning of section 3(2) of the ADA.
    4. The Department received a complaint, dated June 2, 1994, alleging that on May 11, 1994, Mr. and Mrs. XXX were travelling through Lumberton, North Carolina, and stopped for gas at the B.P. Sun Do Shop. The complaint alleged that the manager of the store denied the Complainant access to the sales area of the store and to restroom facilities because she was accompanied by her service dog. All parties agree that if these allegations are true, this denial constituted a violation of the ADA.
    5. The parties agree that it would not have been an undue burden to the B.P. Sun Do Shop or a fundamental alteration to the nature of its services or facilities to have permitted the Complainant to have entered and used the facilities while accompanied by her service dog.
    6. The parties agree that it would not be an undue burden to the B.P. Sun Do Shop or a fundamental alteration to the nature of its services or facilities to formally notify employees, customers, and future customers of the policy permitting persons with disabilities to be accompanied by service animals in all areas open to the general public.

    Actions to be Taken by the B.P. Sun Do Shop and the Oliver Oil Company

    1. The Oliver Oil Company agrees to notify each of its employees in writing of the policy that persons with disabilities accompanied by service animals are welcome to use all facilities available to the general public, as set forth in Attachment A, incorporated by reference herein.
    2. The Oliver Oil Company further agrees to post appropriate signage, as set out in Exhibit B, incorporated by reference herein, prominently on or by the door of the main entrance of each of the nine British Petroleum service stations owned by Lawrence H. Oliver, Sr. and Doris S. Oliver.
    3. The Oliver Oil Company further agrees to place a written notification in all employee rules, policy manuals, or handbooks, as set forth in Attachment A.
    4. Within 45 days of the date of the last signature affixed below, the Oliver Oil Company further agrees to provide to the Department evidence, satisfactory to the Department, that it has completed the above obligations. This evidence will take the form of:
      1. Copies of the written notifications to employees, customers, and potential customers required by paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 above.
      2. Photographs of the signs required by paragraph 13, above.
    5. The Oliver Oil Company agrees to complete all of the obligations in paragraphs 12 through 15, above, no later than 45 days from the date of the last signature affixed.

    Implementation and Enforcement of the Settlement Agreement

    1. The Attorney General of the United States (the "Attorney General") is authorized, pursuant to section 308(b)(1)(B) of the ADA, to bring civil action under title III, enforcing the ADA in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the terms of this agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation of this complaint or from filing civil suit under title III of the ADA in this matter.
    2. The Department may review compliance with this agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this agreement or any provision thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action.
    3. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire agreement or any provision thereof shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to any other provisions of this agreement.
    4. In the event that the Oliver Oil Company 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, all terms of this agreement shall become enforceable in United States District Court.
    5. This document is a public agreement. A copy of this document, or any information concerning its contents, may be made available to any person. The Oliver Oil Company or the Department shall provide a copy of this agreement to any person on request.
    6. The effective date of this agreement is the date of the last signature below. This agreement shall be binding on all of the Oliver Oil Company's successors in interest, and the Oliver Oil Company has a duty to so notify all such successors in interest.
    7. The person who signs this agreement in a representative capacity for the Oliver Oil Company represents that she or he is authorized to bind the Oliver Oil Company to this agreement.
    8. This agreement and any exhibits attached hereto constitute 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, that is not contained in this written agreement, shall be enforceable. This agreement is limited to the facts set forth in paragraphs 6 through 11 above, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This agreement does not affect the Oliver Oil Company's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

     

    For the United States:

    Deval L. Patrick
    Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

    By: ________________________    Date: _________
       John L. Wodatch
       Irene Bowen
       Marc Dubin
       Public Access Section
       Civil Rights Division
       U.S. Department of Justice
       P.O. Box 66738
       Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
       (202) 307-0663

     

    For the Oliver Oil Company and

    By: _________________________    Date: _________
        Lawrence H. "Sonny" Oliver, Sr.

    _______________________________    Date: _________
    Doris S. Oliver

    _______________________________    Date: _________
    Counsel: Horace E. Stacy, Jr., Esq.
    McIntyre & Ramsaur
    P.O. Drawer 1087
    Lumberton, North Carolina 28359
    (910) 738-5257

    Updated August 22, 2016

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