SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

WORLD FRESH MARKET, LLC d/b/a PUEBLO

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-90-3

 


 

BACKGROUND

1.This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA'"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against Pueblo, now registered with the Government of the Virgin Islands, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of Corporations and Trademarks as World Fresh Market, LLC d/b/a Pueblo, and the owners and operators of Pueblo ("Pueblo"), located in Long Bay. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The complainant, an individual with a disability, alleges that on November 28, 2006, he was told to leave Pueblo because he was accompanied by a service animal.

2. The ADA requires that public accommodations make reasonable modifications in policies. practices, and procedures, to permit the use of service animals by people with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c).

3.Pueblo, agrees to modify its policies and practices, as outlined in this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement"), to ensure that individuals who use service animals have an opportunity to enter and use the services provided by Pueblo that is equal to that of others.

JURISDICTION

4. Pueblo is a retail supermarket that sells food and other household goods and, as such, is a place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(B); 28 C.F.R. § 36.104. Pueblo, owns and operates Pueblo and, as such, is a public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.

5.The Attorney General is authorized under section 308 of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12188, to investigate complaints and bring a civil action under title III in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or where a matter of general public importance is raised.

6.The parties to the Agreement are the Department and Pueblo. In light of this Agreement, the parties have determined that Department of Justice complaint 202-90-3 can be resolved without litigation and have prepared and agreed to the terms of this Settlement Agreement.

7. In consideration of the terms or this Agreement. the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or filing a civil suit in this matter regarding the area covered under the Remedial Action section of this Agreement, except as provided in the Enforcement and Implementation sections of the Agreement.

REMEDIAL ACTION

8. As soon as practicable, but in no event more than thirty days (30) from the effective date of the Agreement, Pueblo, agrees to do the following:

9. Pueblo shall post the following notice, in 24 font print or larger, in a conspicuous place in Pueblo:

"Individuals with disabilities and their service animals are welcome at Pueblo." (Attached hereto as Exhibit A.)

10. Pueblo shall adopt and distribute to all its employees at Pueblo its revised Policy Regarding Service Animals for Customers with Disabilities (attached hereto as Exhibit B). Pueblo shall train Pueblo's current employees as to their obligations under the ADA with respect to service animals so as to ensure that personal with disabilities accompanied by service animals have access to its supermarket equal to persons without disabilities. Furthermore, during the life of the Agreement, employees hired by Pueblo to work at Pueblo shall be trained and informed of Pueblo's service animal policy within 24 hours of hire.

11.Pueblo, within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Agreement, shall submit a written report with photographs to the Department outlining its compliance with Paragraph 9, above.

ENFORCEMENT

12.If at any time Pueblo, desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for or any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

13.The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that Pueblo has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a modification of the relevant terms, the Department will so notify Pueblo in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within thirty (30) days of the date it provides notice to Pueblo it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or title III and may, in such action, seek any relief available under law.

14.For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement for Pueblo to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written Agreement with the Department for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.

15.Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any of its provisions or deadlines shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

16.This Agreement shall be binding on Pueblo its agents and employees. In the event Pueblo seeks to transfer or assign all or part of its interest in any facility covered by this Agreement, and the successor or assign intends on carrying on the same or similar use of the facility, as a condition of sale Pueblo shall obtain the written accession of the successor or assign to any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.

IMPLEMENTATION

17.The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

18.This Agreement, including Exhibits A and B, constitutes 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 of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions.

19.This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law.

20.This Agreement does not affect Pueblo continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA. In particular, title III imposes an obligation to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, and facilities to individuals with disabilities. This obligation must be continuously re-visited, particularly where the financial resources available to a public accommodation may improve over time.

21.A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by Pueblo or the Department upon request.

22.This Agreement will remain in effect for two (2) years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until the parties agree that full compliance with the Agreement by Pueblo has been achieved, whichever is later.

23.The person signing this document for Pueblo represents that he/she is authorizcd to bind Pueblo to this Agreement.

FOR THE RESPONDENT:
WORLD FRESH MARKET, LLC
d/b/a PUEBLO

________________________________
STEVE BOCKINO
Store Director for the Virgin Islands
World Fresh Market, LLC d/b/a Pueblo
2 Long Bay Road St. Thomas,
U.S. Virgin Islands 00802

4/1/08
Date

FOR THE UNITED STATES:

ANTHONY J. JENKINS
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

_________________________
JOYCELYN HEWLETT
Assistant United States Attorney
Office of the U.S. Attorney
5500 Veterans Drive, Suite 260
Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Telephone: (340) 774-5757

Roberta Kirkendall
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
1425 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20005

4/16/08
Date

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April 21, 2009