Your business or property being named in an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit can unsettling. An ADA lawsuit has the potential to cost thousands of dollars in mitigation costs, attorney fees and settlement. Why? Because the ADA allows the plaintiff’s attorney fees on the party violating the ADA.
It is understandable if you fear what happens next once you have been served. Taking the first step in contacting an experienced attorney can help lower the costs of the lawsuit and prevent further lawsuits by ensuring that your business or property is in compliance with the ADA. The attorneys at The Drake Law Firm, P.C. have handled ADA defense cases in the past. Also, all attorneys in the firm are admitted to practice in federal court which makes The Drake Law Firm, P.C. uniquely qualified for you to have an experienced team working on your case.
What is the ADA?
ADA is shorthand for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12181, et seq. The purpose of the ADA is to prevent businesses and employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities whether that be during the hiring process, during the course of employment, or building access to patrons.
Discrimination under the ADA could include failure to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to allow easier access. Another example of a claim could be a failure to remove barriers that prevent easy access to the premises. A common defense is that the modifications/accommodations cannot be made without fundamentally altering the nature of the facility, or that removal of the barrier would fundamentally alter the nature of the facility. Another common defense is that the requested modification would impose an undue burden on the defendant.
There is no clear-cut answer for what you can do to become ADA compliant. In some cases, it may be as simple as placing a van accessible handicap parking spot in the parking lot. In other instances, you may be required to install an elevator which can sometimes cost upwards of $50,000. Nevertheless, you and your attorney will sit down together and begin forming a strategy that best fits the needs of your business.
ADA Lawsuit Abuse
Accessibility for all persons is something to be desired. And most, if not all, would agree that the ADA has made a positive change in the world by allowing people who wouldn’t otherwise have access – have access. However, beware of ADA lawsuit abusers. These are people who likely never would have visited the business but for specifically seeking potential ADA violations. That person may drive from city to city looking for full parking lots which lack any handicap parking. The only way to prevent your business from becoming a target is to become ADA compliant.
Preventing Future Lawsuits
Going through the lawsuit process or settling your case does nothing to prevent you from being sued again in the future by a different plaintiff. Protect your property and/or business from future lawsuits is by becoming ADA compliant. If you have questions or concerns whether your property or business is ADA compliant, or you have just been served with a complaint, contact the The Drake Law Firm, P.C. and our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process. We can be reached at 303-261-8111.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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Golden, CO 80401