Daubert v. Lindsay USD

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Disability Law
  • Date Filed: 07-25-2014
  • Case #: 12-16252
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Smith, Jr. for the Court; Circuit Judge McKeown and District Judge Bolton
  • Full Text Opinion

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require school districts holding events at a facility constructed prior to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act to offer access to specific areas of the facility because it is not a normal function of a government entity to provide a particular social experience of watching a football game from the bleachers.

Timothy Daubert brought this action against Lindsay United School District (“LUSD”) alleging that LUSD was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) because the bleachers at the Lindsey High School (“LHS”) football field are not accessible to wheelchairs whereby he “had an inferior view” and “could not fully enjoy” the high school football game experience. Daubert, who uses a wheelchair due to a disability, would occasionally attend LHS football games between 1997 and 2005. The bleachers provided for spectators of LHS football games were constructed in 1971, prior to the enactment of the ADA, and are not wheelchair accessible. However, there are designated areas at the LHS football field for wheelchair spectators that provide unobstructed views of the games. After completion of discovery, the district court granted summary judgment for LUSD, to which Daubert appealed. The Ninth Circuit held that the ADA did not require LUSD to provide specific access to areas of their football facility. Finding that under the ADA, the requirement that school districts offer access to events at a football field does not require the school district to offer access to specific areas of the facility as the facility was already existing when the ADA was enacted. Further, it is not a “normal function” of a governmental entity to provide a particular social experience created by sitting in the bleachers of a high school football game. AFFIRMED.

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