Settlement Agreement
the United States of America
Lafrance Hospitality, Corp.
USAO#2017V00525 & DJ#202-36-311

Background and Jurisdiction

  1. The parties to this settlement agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Lafrance Hospitality, Corp. ("Lafrance Hospitality").
  2. The matter is based upon a complaint filed with the United States Department of Justice, in which the complainant alleged that the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites facility ("the New Bedford Marriott Fairfield") located at 185 MacArthur Dr., New Bedford, MA 02740, did not have accessible showers in its accessible guest rooms, in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12181-12189, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, and that as a result of the inaccessibility, the complainant was injured when a shower seat collapsed. The New Bedford Marriott Fairfield is owned and operated by Lafrance Hospitality, headquartered in Westport, Massachusetts. Lafrance Hospitality operates the 15 hotels listed on Exhibit A attached (collectively, the "Lafrance Hospitality Hotels").
  3. The parties have reached an agreement that it is in the parties' best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this dispute. The parties have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement, agreeing as follows:

Coverage and Determinations

  1. The Attorney General of the United States is responsible for administering and enforcing Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12188, and the relevant implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 36.
  2. The Marriott Fairfield is a place of public accommodation because it is a facility that is an inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181(7)(A) and 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.104(1) (definition of place of public accommodation).
  3. Lafrance Hospitality, which owns and operates the New Bedford Marriott Fairfield, is a private entity that owns and operates a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a) and is thus subject to the requirements of Title III of the ADA.
  4. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation and commercial facilities, and requires that alterations to such facilities be made so that the altered portions are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, to the maximum extent feasible. 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2), 28 C.F.R. § 36.402.
  5. For purposes of this settlement agreement, the term "ADA Standards" means the 2010 Standards. 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
  6. The New Bedford Marriott Fairfield is subject to the provisions of the ADA at 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2), 28 C.F.R. § 36.402. Because the showers of the New Bedford Marriott Fairfield were altered after January 26, 1992, these showers should have been altered so that they are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, to the maximum extent feasible. 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a) and 28 C.F.R. 36.402-406.
  7. As a result of its investigation, the United States has determined that:
    1. During alterations of the showers at the Marriott Fairfield, shower seats in the hotel rooms with roll-in showers were not installed on the shower compartment wall as required by § 610.3 of the ADA Standards;
    2. Instead, non-fixed seats were placed in each roll-in shower;
    3. When the complainant, who has a mobility impairment, used the non-fixed shower seat, it collapsed, and the complainant fell. As a result of the fall, the complainant required emergency services at a local hospital and was admitted overnight for her injuries.

Actions to be Taken by Lafrance Hospitality

  1. Within twenty-four months of the effective date of this Agreement, Lafrance Hospitality shall assess and ensure that all showers in accessible rooms in all Lafrance Hospitality Hotels, including installation and positioning of shower seats, grab bars, and shower spray units, meet the ADA Standards.
  2. Any alterations or new construction at any Lafrance Hospitality Hotel, including both existing and future alterations, additions or new construction, must comply with the ADA's requirements, including the appropriate ADA Standards.
  3. In addition to the specific requirements set forth in this Agreement, Lafrance Hospitality agrees to ensure that all accessible features, including fixed shower seats, within all Lafrance Hospitality Hotels are maintained in operable working condition, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 36.211.
  4. Lafrance Hospitality shall pay a total of $20,000 to the complainant to compensate for discrimination as authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.504(a)(2). This shall be paid within four installments: within one month of the date of this agreement, Lafrance Hospitality shall pay the first installment of $5,000; within three months of the date of this agreement, Lafrance Hospitality shall pay a second installment $5,000; within six months of the date of this agreement, Lafrance Hospitality shall pay a third installment of $5,000; and within nine months of the date of this agreement, Lafrance Hospitality shall pay the fourth installment of $5,000. Such payments shall be made by checks payable to the complainant and delivered to counsel for the United States.
  5. Within one month of completing the actions described in paragraph 11, LaFrance Hospitality shall provide documentation, including photographs, demonstrating that the actions have been taken.

Other Provisions

  1. In consideration of this Agreement, the United States will close its investigation of USAO#2017V00525 and DJ#202-36-311 and will not institute a civil action at this time alleging discrimination based on the determinations set forth in paragraph 10. The United States, however, may review Lafrance Hospitality's compliance with this Agreement or Title III of the ADA at any time. If the United States believes that Title III of the ADA, this Agreement, or any portion of it has been violated, it may institute a civil action in the appropriate U.S. District Court to enforce this Agreement or Title III of the ADA.
  2. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision of this Agreement is not a waiver of its right to enforce any provision of this Agreement.
  3. If any term of this Agreement is determined by any court to be unenforceable, the other terms of this Agreement shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect, provided, however, that if the severance of any such provision materially alters the rights or obligations of the parties, the United States and Lafrance Hospitality shall engage in good faith negotiations to adopt mutually agreeable amendments to this Agreement as may be necessary to restore the parties as closely as possible to the initially agreed upon relative rights and obligations.
  4. This Agreement is binding on Lafrance Hospitality, including all principals, agents, executors, administrators, representatives, employees, and beneficiaries. In the event that Lafrance Hospitality seeks to sell, transfer, or assign substantially all of its assets or a controlling membership position in Lafrance Hospitality during the term of this Agreement, then, as a condition of such sale, transfer, or assignment, Lafrance Hospitality will obtain the written Agreement of the successor, buyer, transferee, or assignee to all obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
  5. The signatory for Lafrance Hospitality represents that he or she is authorized to bind Lafrance Hospitality to this Agreement. Further, Lafrance Hospitality acknowledges that it has been advised by competent legal counsel in connection with the execution of this Agreement, has read each and every paragraph of this Agreement, and understands the respective obligations set forth herein, and represents that the commitments, acknowledgments, representations, and promises set forth herein are freely and willingly undertaken and given.
  6. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and Lafrance Hospitality on the matters raised herein, and no prior or contemporaneous statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, including any attachments, is enforceable. This Agreement can only be modified by mutual written agreement of the parties.
  7. The United States does not assert that this Agreement will bring the Lafrance Hospitality Hotels franchise into full compliance with all aspects of the ADA, and nothing in this Agreement is intended to constitute an interpretation of the legal requirements of the ADA by the United States. Rather, this Agreement is entered into by the parties for the purpose of compromising disputed claims and avoiding the risk and expenses of litigation.
  8. Lafrance Hospitality shall not discriminate or retaliate against any person because of his or her participation in this matter.
  9. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.


United States Attorney
District of Massachusetts

Assistant U.S. Attorney
Civil Rights Unit
U.S. Attorney's Office
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Telephone: (617) 748-3157
Date Signed: 8/14/20

Lafrance Hospitality

Name: Jeffrey P. Pineault
Title: CFO
Date Signed: 8/13/20