DENVER — Abercrombie & Fitch has spent four-and-a-half years arguing in court that its Hollister teen stores don’t violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Hollister brand is designed to evoke a southern California beach gestalt. Girls find their halter tops in the “Bettys” department. Boys find their ripped jeans in the “Dudes” section. Entrances to hundreds of the surf-themed stores have been built with stairs to resemble weathered porches of beach shacks.
Customers who use wheelchairs and walkers have been unable to access the faux beach houses and told to use side entrances. They sued in an effort to, like, keep it real.
In May, disability rights activists prevailed in U.S. District Court in Denver, where Judge Wiley Daniel ordered the company to remove, ramp or close off all of the elevated door entries by January 2017.
This week, Judge Daniel ordered Abercrombie & Fitch to pay a wad of cash — $405,195 — in attorneys fees and other costs.
The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and other plaintiffs are stoked about their bodacious win. Still, they’s hanging tight because the company is appealing the case in U.S. District Court.