April 2020 – Observations from the Trenches.

There’s been no slow down in the number of accessibility lawsuits filed during the Corona Virus Stay-at-Home mandate.  Process servers have been out serving lawsuits but hopefully not spreading the virus.  At least thus far.  A lot of the traditional accessibility lawsuits are being filed.  Most of the lawsuits I’m seeing are focusing on parking lot and common area issues.  So that means property owners need to be extra vigilant.  It’s not like the old days when the question was simply whether you had a disabled space (although there are still a few of those, particularly in more industrial businesses).  Now the lawsuits focus on technical compliance, i.e., the right number of disabled spaces (at least 1 van accessible space no matter how few customer spaces you have), the right size, the right striping, the right color and symbols, the right signage, and the right slope – sloping issues are probably the most common lawsuit issue I’m seeing now.  It’s important that you not only make sure the disabled – accessible parking is correct when it is installed, but get it re-checked every couple of years.  Faded paint and asphalt sagging (leading to sloping issues) can get you sued.  Hiring a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) to inspect your property is still a good idea.  Checking your lease/s for how disabled access responsibility is allocated is also a good idea.  If you have a commercial property and you haven’t been sued you will be unless you keep your property fully in compliance with accessibility requirements.

About William Adams

Attorney at Norton, Moore, & Adams, LLP.
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