United States District Court, D. Oregon
A.F., by and through his parent and guardian, FABRIZIO FEOLA, Plaintiff,
STARBUCKS CORPORATION, Defendant.
by and through his parent and guardian, Fabrizio Feola.
Plaintiff, pro se.
Devlan Foster and Samuel T. Smith, Dunn Carney Allen Higgins
& Tongue, LLP, Of Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael H. Simon United States District Judge.
A.F., a minor child, sues Defendant Starbucks Corporation
through his father, Fabrizio Feola, for discrimination on the
basis of a disability. Before the Court is Defendant's
motion to dismiss (ECF 9). For the reasons discussed,
Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted.
purposes of this motion, the Court takes as true the
following facts alleged in the complaint. Plaintiff suffers
from autism. On or about April 2, 2016, Plaintiff entered a
coffee shop owned by Defendant. Plaintiff became frustrated
with a long wait, and began “touching” the
window. A Starbucks employee immediately yelled at Plaintiff,
telling him to get out and never return. Plaintiff's
behavior worsened immediately following this incident.
Plaintiff was visibly upset by the incident for about a week,
and showed increasing signs of aggression. On April 12, 2016,
Plaintiff's parents sought medical treatment for
Plaintiff, and “experts” determined that
Plaintiff's worsening behavior had been triggered by the
incident at Starbucks. Plaintiff and his family have
emotionally suffered as a result of this incident.
August 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in Oregon state
court, which Defendant timely removed. In that complaint,
Plaintiff alleged only a claim for discrimination in a place
of public accommodation under Oregon Revised Statutes
(“ORS”) § 659A.400. ORS 659A.400 defines
“place of public accommodation” under Oregon law.
Liberally construing Plaintiff's pro se
complaint, Plaintiff appears to assert claims under both ORS
§ 659A.142(4) and Title III of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12182.
These statutes prohibit discrimination on the basis of a
disability in a place of public accommodation.
October 23, 2017, Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's
claims. Plaintiff requested, and the Court granted, several
extensions of the deadline to file a response to
Defendant's motion. After extending the deadline for
Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion through
February 8, 2018, the Court directed that no further
extension would be granted without good cause. Plaintiff
still has not responded to Defendant's motion to dismiss.
The Court now evaluates Defendant's motion on its merits
without the benefit of Plaintiff's response.
moves to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint on the grounds
that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred, that Plaintiff
fails to state a claim for relief, and that Plaintiff's
ADA claim must be dismissed because he seeks an invalid form
of relief and has no standing to bring his claim.
Court concludes that Plaintiff's claim is timely, but
that Plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief.
Accordingly, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted.
Statute of Limitations
argues that Plaintiff's claims are untimely. Defendant
has not specifically cited to a statute of limitations for a
claim of discrimination arising under ORS § 659A.142.
Defendant states that “claims for disability
discrimination in public accommodations must be brought
within one year of the occurrence of the allegedly unlawful
practice.” Defendant cites ORS § 659A.875(4),
which provides a one-year statute of limitations specifically
for claims arising under ORS § 659A.403 or ORS §
659A.406. ORS § 659A.403 prohibits discrimination, and
ORS § 659A.406 prohibits the aiding and abetting of
discrimination, in a place of public accommodation on the
basis of “race, color, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, national origin, marital status or age, ”
but not disability. ORS § 659A.142(4) prohibits
discrimination in a place of public accommodation based on
disability, which is the foundation of
Plaintiff's claim. ORS § 659A.142 does not prescribe
a statute of limitations.
directs the Court to Clink v. Oregon Health and Sciences
University, 9 F.Supp.3d 1162 (D. Or. 2014), a prior
decision of this Court. Defendant states that Clink
applied the one-year statute of limitations in ORS §
659A.875 to claims alleging violations of ORS §
659A.142. Defendants, however, misconstrue Clink.
The plaintiff in Clink did not allege violations of
ORS § 659A.142. Rather, in Clink, a former
employee sued his former employer alleging disability
discrimination under, among other things, the federal
Rehabilitation Act. Clink, 9 F.Supp.3d at 1166-68.
The Rehabilitation Act did not prescribe a statute of
limitations, but this Court noted that “the settled
practice has been to adopt a local time limitation as federal
law if it is not inconsistent with federal law or policy to
do so.” Clink, 9 F.Supp.3d at 1166. This Court
in Clink determined that the most analogous state
law was Oregon's Rehabilitation Act. That Act's
statute of limitations is provided in ORS § 659A.875(1),
which relates specifically to unlawful employment practices.
Thus, contrary to Defendant's statement, Clink
did not apply ORS 659A.875, writ large, to ...