I often get the question: “Can I sue them back”? People who are sued by ADA plaintiffs know in their hearts that many, if not most, of the ADA lawsuits are essentially extortive, and did not involve a real disabled customer having difficulty with access. They know they are being sued by a “professional” or “serial” plaintiff (as many have called them) or “high-frequency litigant” as state law now officially deems plaintiffs with 10 or more lawsuits in a year. Several ADA plaintiffs easily surpass that threshold with several dozen lawsuits per year, and hundreds over several years.
A recent article noted that 75 New York City art galleries got sued for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held, despite the absence of government regulations or standards for private websites, a website owner could be sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Continue reading
Published originally at oscodelaw.com as: Are Your Websites at Risk for an ADA Lawsuit?
Enacted in 1990, and amended multiple times since, the The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equal access for people with a wide range of disabilities. Title III of the ADA applies to “public accommodations,” which essentially means businesses that are open to the public must provide equal access to persons with disabilities. Continue reading
Assembly Bill 1521 was signed into law on Oct. 10, 2015. It attempts to curb disabled access lawsuit abuse, in particular by “frequent filers.” Like its predecessors, Senate Bill 1608 in 2008 and Senate Bill 1186 in 2012, AB 1521 does not prevent lawsuits by plaintiff’s suing for theoretical “barriers” to obtain the easy money provided under California’s Unruh Act. Rather, the new law amendment – actually an amendment of existing law – like its predecessors provides incremental relief. There still is no requirement to provide notice and an opportunity to remove an access barrier before suing. For decades, a notice and cure provision has been the amendment most sought by the business community. On the other hand, the new law provides some of the most extensive relief yet to defendants and potential defendants (all public accommodations, especially those in buildings built before 1992). Continue reading
As is oft repeated in this blog and elsewhere, the ADA in combination with California discrimination statutes creates a perfect storm for those wanting to use legal process more than merit to force businesses into disproportionate monetary settlements. Relief has been slow in coming because both the legislature and disability advocates tend to see the issue in broad generalized terms of less or more access rather than the devil in the details of how the law operates to benefit those who game the system for profit. Nevertheless, Continue reading
“CASp” refers to Certified Access Specialist. The designation was created by California Senate Bill 1608 which became law 2008, and can be found in Civil Code sections 55.3 et seq. When the bill was working its way through the legislature, and when it became law, I was a skeptic. I remain somewhat underwhelmed. Abusive access lawsuits remain as numerous as ever. Among other things, I viewed the portion of the law that created the CASp designation, and giving them an official role in the litigation process, as creating another cottage industry invested in an extortionate process, and adding to the overall expense of defendants.
On the other hand, Continue reading
Encroachment in to access aisle – not a good idea.
While disabled access laws prescribe literally hundreds of specifications, there is a shortlist of items that trigger the majority of lawsuits. A property owner or business can substantially reduce the chance of being sued by upgrading these items, often at minimum expense. Continue reading