Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Costow v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 27, 2017

RICK COSTOW, Plaintiff,
v.
LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT, INC., d/b/a BB&T PAVILION f/k/a SUSQUEHANNA BANK CENTER; and CITY OF CAMDEN; and CAMDEN REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY; and PARKING AUTHORITY CITY OF CAMDEN and NEW JERSEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, Defendants.

          OPINION

          Hon. Joseph H. Rodriguez, Judge

         This matter is before the Court on several motions for summary judgment. The Court heard oral argument on the motions on February 7, 2017 and the record of that proceeding is incorporated here. For the reasons discussed during oral argument as well as those set forth below, the Court will deny the motions of Defendant Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a BB&T Pavilion f/k/a Susquehanna Bank Center [77], Defendant City of Camden Parking Authority [78], Defendant New Jersey Economic Development Authority [98]; will grant the motions of Defendant City of Camden [57] and Camden Redevelopment Agency [76]; and will grant in part and deny in part the motion of Plaintiff Rick Costow [75].

         Background

         Plaintiff Rick Costow is a disabled individual who must use a wheelchair for ambulation and hand controls for driving. He purchased a ticket to attend a concert on August 7, 2013 at the BB&T Pavilion located at 1 Harbor Boulevard, Camden, New Jersey. (Third Am. Compl., ¶ 13.) When Plaintiff arrived at the concert facility, he discovered that the designated parking area and the route to the admission and seating area were not accessible to persons with physical disabilities, and there were dangerous and impassable barriers preventing wheelchair users from accessing and traversing the areas in question. (Id., ¶ 16.)

         Plaintiff was unable to use the designated handicap parking spots in the facility's designated parking area (Lot 1) due to the fact that Defendants had placed immovable objects (portable toilets) on the handicap parking spots, blocking them from being used by disabled persons. (Id., ¶ 17.) Plaintiff therefore was directed to park in the lot across the street from the entrance of the concert venue (Lot 2), much farther from the parking area exit. (Id., ¶ 18.) Plaintiff alleges that the path from the parking lot to the concert venue entrance is not wheelchair accessible and includes a slope that is dangerous and a violation of regulations due to its being too steep and without railings. (Id., ¶ 20, 22.) Moreover, there is no curb cut at the end of the slope; the steep slope leads directly to a curb of over four inches and then onto the street, making it dangerous and impractical for wheelchair users. (Id.) This caused Plaintiff inconvenience, pain, discomfort and distress.

         In addition, Plaintiff had significant difficulty entering and exiting the facility and in traveling between the designated parking area and the admission/seating area due to significant barriers to access for disabled persons, including excessively steep inclines and ramps. (Id., ¶ 19, 24.)

         According to Plaintiff, the only parking area open to the public that allows for handicap accessible parking at BB&T Pavilion is “Lot 1.” (Id., ¶ 35.) However, Plaintiff alleges that Lot 1 is inaccessible and dangerous to disabled persons, is not handicap accessible and violates the codes, laws and regulations of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:5-12. (Id., ¶ 36.) Plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief, including making the facility, seating areas, parking areas, and routes to and from the facility wheelchair accessible.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         “Summary judgment is proper if there is no genuine issue of material fact and if, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Pearson v. Component Tech. Corp., 247 F.3d 471, 482 n.1 (3d Cir. 2001) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (a). Thus, the Court will enter summary judgment in favor of a movant who shows that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and supports the showing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (c)(1)(A).

         An issue is “genuine” if supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is “material” if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view the facts and all reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

         Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id.; Maidenbaum v. Bally's Park Place, Inc., 870 F.Supp. 1254, 1258 (D.N.J. 1994). Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Andersen, 477 U.S. at 256-57. “A nonmoving party may not ‘rest upon mere allegations, general denials or . . . vague statements . . . .'” Trap Rock Indus., Inc. v. Local 825, Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, 982 F.2d 884, 890 (3d Cir. 1992) (quoting Quiroga v. Hasbro, Inc., 934 F.2d 497, 500 (3d Cir. 1991)). Indeed,

the plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.

Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. That is, the movant can support the assertion that a fact cannot be genuinely disputed by showing that “an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the [alleged dispute of] fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2).

         In deciding the merits of a party's motion for summary judgment, the court's role is not to evaluate the evidence and decide the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). Credibility determinations are the province of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.