United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
NICOLE DAVIS individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
WENDY'S INTERNATIONAL, LLC Defendant.
Gabriel A. Fuentes Hon. Mag. Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. ASPEN, District Judge
Nicole Davis, individually and on behalf of a proposed class,
alleges that Defendant Wendy's International, LLC
(“Wendy's”) violated Title III of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42
U.S.C. §§ 12181, et seq., by offering
late-night hours at its restaurants during which customers
may patronize Wendy's only via drive-through windows.
Davis argues that she cannot independently access Wendy's
products during these hours because she is visually-impaired
and unable to operate motor vehicles, and thus unable to use
the drive-through. (Compl. (Dkt. No. 1) at 1.) Presently
before us is Wendy's motion to dismiss Davis's
complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1), (2), and (6). (Mot. to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 11) at 1.)
As set forth below, we grant Wendy's motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) with
prejudice and deny Wendy's motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction and lack of standing under Rules
12(b)(1) and (2).
Davis is a citizen and resident of Chicago, Illinois. (Compl.
¶ 9.) Davis is a member of a protected class of visually
impaired persons under the ADA. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Due to her
vision impairment, she cannot operate a motor vehicle.
(Compl. ¶ 9.) She brings this action on behalf of
herself and a proposed nationwide class of visually impaired
persons. (Compl. ¶ 57.)
is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of
Ohio that owns, operates and/or leases the more than 6, 000
Wendy's restaurants in the United States. (Compl.
¶¶ 11, 13.) Restaurants are owned and operated
either entirely by Wendy's or in part with franchisees.
(Compl. ¶ 14.)
can patronize Wendy's restaurants through an interior
counter or exterior drive-through. (Compl. ¶ 23.)
Patrons in automobiles can access service via a driveway
system around the exterior of the restaurant. (Compl. ¶
26.) The drive-through is often open later than the interior
restaurant. (Compl. ¶ 27.)
does not serve pedestrians through the drive-through. (Compl.
¶¶ 30, 31.) People who are visually impaired cannot
drive, so they cannot independently access the drive-through.
(Compl. ¶ 34.)
alleges she “periodically desires to obtain food from
Wendy's restaurants” during late hours. (Compl.
¶ 36.) In February 2019, Davis walked to the Wendy's
restaurant located at 7 East 111th Street,
Chicago, Illinois, approximately a sixteen-minute walk from
her home. (Compl. ¶ 37.) When she arrived, the
restaurant lobby doors were locked. (Compl. ¶ 38.) The
restaurant continued to serve customers via the drive-through
service, but Davis could not independently access the
drive-through due to her inability to drive. (Compl.
¶¶ 39, 40.)
further alleges she visits the Wendy's at 7 East
111th Street “once every two months and she
reasonably expects to visit there again in the future.”
(Compl. ¶ 41.) This Wendy's is near her home and
other commercial establishments that Davis visits. (Compl.
¶ 42.) This Wendy's is also close to the public bus
that Davis uses regularly. (Compl. ¶ 43.) Davis alleges
she sometimes avoids the Wendy's during late-night hours
because she is aware that she will not be able to
independently patronize the restaurant. (Compl. ¶ 46.)
the defendant moves to dismiss the complaint for lack of
personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of
demonstrating the existence of jurisdiction. Purdue
Research Found. v. Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d
773, 782 (7th Cir. 2003). “A district court sitting in
diversity has personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant only if a court of the state in which it sits would
have jurisdiction.” Id. at 779; see
Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A).
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) is meant to test the sufficiency of the complaint.
Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th
Cir. 1990) (citing Triad Assocs., Inc. v. Chi. Hous.
Auth., 892 F.2d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 1989)). In evaluating
a motion to dismiss, we “construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting as true all
well-pleaded facts alleged, and drawing all possible
inferences in [the plaintiff's] favor.” Tamayo
v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008). A
court may grant a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) only
if a complaint lacks enough facts “to state a claim for
relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007)). “A ...