United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
HARVEY A. BUCHHOLZ, Plaintiff,
AVENTURA BEACH ASSOCIATES, LTD., a Florida Limited Partnership, d/b/a MARCO POLO BEACH RESORT, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
FEDERICO A. MORENO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
A. Buchholz filed this action against Ramada Plaza Marco Polo
Beach Resort for alleged violations of Title III of the
Americans with Disabilities Act. He seeks injunctive relief,
attorney's fees, and costs. Ramada Plaza subsequently
filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. For the reasons discussed below,
Ramada Plaza's motion is GRANTED;
Harvey A. Buchholz
Buchholz is blind and, therefore, qualifies as an individual
with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Buchholz advocates for the rights of disabled individuals by
working as a tester to ensure that places of public
accommodation comply with the Americans with Disabilities
Plaza Ramada Marco Polo Beach Resort
Ramada Marco Polo Beach Resort is a hotel and resort in
Miami-Dade County. It qualifies as a public accommodation
under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In conjunction
with its physical hotel and resort, Ramada Plaza allegedly
owns and operates a website located at
Statement of Facts
his visual impairment, Buchholz cannot read materials on a
computer or access and comprehend internet website
information without the assistance of JAWS-a special software
designed for the visually impaired. JAWS is a popular screen
reader program for Microsoft Windows that allows visually
impaired individuals to read the screen either with a
text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display.
However, the screen reader function works only with websites
that interface with the JAWS software.
claims that he has attempted to access Ramada Plaza's
website but is unable to do so because Ramada Plaza's
website does not interface with software utilized by the
visually impaired. Specifically, Ramada Plaza's website
contains "graphics, links, headings, functions, forms
and text with information that is not fully readable and/or
compatible with [screen reader software]." (Compl.
further contends that Ramada Plaza's website "is a
service, facility, privilege, advantage, benefit and
accommodation of Defendant's place of
accommodation." (Compl. ¶ 8.) Because he cannot
access the website, Buchholz argues that Ramada Plaza is
depriving him of the "full and equal enjoyment of the
goods, services, facilities, privileges and/or accommodations
available to the general public." (Compl. ¶ 14.) He
contends that this violates Ramada Plaza's obligation
under the Americans with Disabilities Act to "create and
maintain a website that is accessible to and usable by
visually impaired persons so that they can enjoy full and
equal access to the website and content therein."
(Compl. ¶ 9.)
Buchholz does not allege that he has attempted to visit the
Ramada Plaza hotel and beach resort, or that he intends to
visit it in the future. Nor has he alleged that the website
impedes his ability to access the physical hotel and resort.