United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
WILLIAM F. JUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes to the Court on Defendant Florencia Park
LLC's Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. 19, Plaintiff Ariane
Bryan's Second Amended Complaint. Dkt. 17. Plaintiff
filed a response. Dkt. 21. The Court heard extensive argument
from counsel at a hearing on these matters on September 5,
2019. With the benefit of full briefing and able argument by
both sides at a hearing, the Court grants the Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss without prejudice.
purposes of this order, the Court accepts as true the facts
alleged in the Second Amended Complaint. Dkt. 17. Plaintiff
is a disabled Georgia resident who is largely wheelchair
bound and has low vision as a result of diabetic retinopathy.
Id. ¶ 10. Defendant owns and operates the
Hampton Inn & Suites St. Petersburg/Downtown, located in
Pinellas County Florida. Id. ¶ 13.
alleges that she is a “frequent visitor to Pinellas
County and the surrounding Florida counties” and that
in August of this year she planned to visit the Pinellas
County area to attend a meditation for another case she is
plaintiff for, “visit friends, ” and “meet
with her attorneys.” Id. ¶ 35. In
anticipation of this trip, Plaintiff visited Defendant's
website in March 2019 in order to learn about
Defendant's hotel with the intention of selecting a hotel
for her stay. Id. ¶ 17 & 35. However, she
alleges that upon accessing the website she was unable to
find information about accessible features of Defendant's
hotel including things like bathroom fixtures and accessible
seating in the hotel dining area. Id. ¶ 25;
see Hampton Inn & Suites St.
Petersburg/Downtown, Hampton by Hilton,
(last visited Sept. 11, 2019). Further, she alleges that the
website had “no option to reserve an accessible room in
the same manner as one would reserve a king or queen bed,
smoking or non-smoking, or room with a view.” Dkt. 17
¶ 25. She alleges that these barriers prevented
her from determining if Defendant's hotel was
sufficiently accessible for her to book a stay when she came
for her visit to Pinellas County. Id.
also alleges that she saw several items on the website that
were not in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (“WCAG”). Id. ¶ 24. She
does not allege how these deficiencies were barriers to her
use of the website. Plaintiff now brings this lawsuit asking
for relief under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”) and the Florida Declaratory Judgment
Act, Fla. Stat. § 86.011.
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must
plead sufficient facts to state a claim that is
“plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted). When
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court accepts all
factual allegations of the complaint as true and construes
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Pielage v. McConnell, 516 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir.
2008) (citation omitted). Courts should limit their
“consideration to the well-pleaded factual allegations,
documents central to or referenced in the complaint, and
matters judicially noticed.” La Grasta v. First
Union Sec., Inc., 358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir. 2004)
establish standing, Plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) they have
suffered an “injury-in-fact”; (2) a causal
connection between the asserted injury-in-fact and the
challenged action of Defendant; and (3) “the injury
will be redressed by a favorable decision.” Shotz
v. Cates, 256 F.3d 1077, 1081 (11th Cir. 2001) (citation
omitted). “To establish injury in fact, [Plaintiff]
must show that [she] suffered ‘an invasion of a legally
protected interest' that is ‘concrete and
particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'” Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (citation omitted).
Motions to dismiss based on lack of standing attack the
court's subject matter jurisdiction and are therefore
considered pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1). Doe v. Pryor,
344 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2003).
Motion to Dismiss under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1)
challenges Plaintiff's standing to bring this lawsuit.
Dkt. 19 at 7- 9. Specifically, Defendant argues that
Plaintiff has failed to articulate an injury-in-fact.
Defendant points to Plaintiff's distance from
Defendant's hotel, lack of definitive plans to return to
the hotel's website, and lack of past patronage to the
hotel as proof that Plaintiff lacks any threat of future
injury. Id. at 10-13. This Court disagrees.
alleges that “Defendant'[s] Website lacked complete
information about accessibility of the Property, which
resulted in Plaintiff being unable to make a decision whether
the accommodations were suitable for Plaintiff.” Dkt.
17 ¶ 25. Further, she alleges that
“Defendant's Website did not offer an adequate
system to permit a disabled person such as Plaintiff with
visual impairment to comprehend its website in an effective
manner.” Id. ¶ 24. These allegations are
sufficient to establish an injury-in-fact for standing
purposes. See, e.g., Kennedy v. Sai Ram Hotels
LLC, No. 8:19-CV-483-T-33JSS, 2019 WL 2085011, at *2
(M.D. Fla. May 13, 2019) (holding plaintiff's allegation
that the hotel website “did not identify . . .
accessible rooms in sufficient detail so that [plaintiff]
could independently ascertain whether or not they are
accessible to her” was sufficient to allege an
injury-in-fact); Honeywell v. Harihar Inc., No.
2:18-CV-618-FTM-29MRM, 2018 WL 6304839, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Dec.
3, 2018) (holding plaintiff's allegations that she
visited defendant's website but was unable to ascertain
the accessible features were sufficient to allege an
“[t]he ‘injury-in-fact' demanded by Article
III of the ADA also requires an additional showing when
injunctive relief is sought.” Houston v. Marod
Supermarkets, Inc., 733 F.3d 1323, 1328 (11th Cir.
2013). Specifically, since Plaintiff is seeking injunctive
relief in the ADA context, she “must also plausibly
show that she will suffer disability discrimination by the
defendant in the future.” Kennedy v. Solano,
735 Fed.Appx. 653, 655 (11th Cir. 2018). This threat of
future injury must be “real and immediate” rather
than “conjectural or hypothetical.”
Houston, 753 F.3d at 1329. “In the few cases
that have addressed standing in Title III website cases,
district courts have applied the Houston factors to
determine whether a plaintiff pleaded a future injury.”
Price v. Escalante - Black Diamond Golf Club, No.
5:19-cv-22-Oc-30PRL, 2019 WL 1905865, at *5 (M.D. Fla. Apr.
29, 2019). These are: “(1) the proximity of the
defendant's business to the plaintiff's residence;
(2) the plaintiff's past ...