A federal court in California has approved the settlement of class claims that will require Burger King Corp. to remove barriers to wheelchair and scooter access at more than 75 of the restaurants it leases to franchisees in the state and pay $19 million to the settlement class. Vallabhapuapu v. Burger King Corp., No. C 11-00667 WHA (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., decided October 29, 2012). This is the second settlement of Americans with Disabilities Act claims against the company; the first involved 10 certified classes and 10 alleged noncompliant restaurants in California.
Each individual who files a claim by November 15, 2012, will take a pro rata share of the settlement for up to six visits to a Burger King restaurant “where he or she encountered a barrier to access.” As of mid-October, 620 claims had been filed with an average recovery expected to be nearly $5,000 per store visit, based on an adjusted store-visit count (including the six-visit limit). The court found the agreement fair, reasonable and adequate, and also approved $4.8 million in attorney’s fees and litigation costs.