Allen v. Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Inc, No. 21-2121 (3d Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Allen and Mullen are disabled and need wheelchairs to move about. They shopped at two different "Ollie's" bargain stores, where they encountered an obstacle course: pillars, clothing racks, and boxes blocked their way. They filed a putative class action against Ollie’s under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12182(a). The district court certified a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2): All persons with qualified mobility disabilities who have attempted, or will attempt, to access the interior of any store owned or operated by [Ollie’s] within the United States and have, or will have, experienced access barriers in interior paths of travel.
The Third Circuit vacated and remanded. The district court abused its discretion by certifying an overly broad class based on inadequate
evidence of numerosity and commonality. On remand, the district court must address the differing ADA standards and rules to determine whether common proof and common relief would be available for each distinct claim raised by the putative class.