This is an excellent analysis of an ADA Case:
Business property owners and tenants often misunderstand their legal obligation to make their premises accessible to individuals with disabilities. Many business operators mistakenly believe that if they have owned or leased their premises since before accessibility laws were enacted or if they have not made substantial physical changes to their premises during that time then they have no obligation to make their businesses accessible to individuals with disabilities. In other words, they believe they are “grandfathered in,” making them exempt from laws that now require businesses that are open to the public to be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. The reality is that most business owners welcome disabled customers and offer assistance if it is needed. Yet, both federal and state laws require businesses to do significantly more.
You can find the original post here: Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP
The two basic conclusions of this situation are all the things that we’ve been writing on here all along:
- Businesses are liable whether or not they own the property they are in.
- Fixing inexpensive items lower a business’s liability substantially.
Additionally, though, businesses can’t rely on unreasonable hardship as a “fix-all” as a future lawsuit some years later could cite that this business had amply time to comply with the more expensive items but did nothing in the interim.
An added consideration is that the ADA has been around for over twenty years. If a business not compliant, they will get into trouble. In the eyes of the court, businesses and property owners have had twenty years to comply. Most businesses aren’t that old — which means they should have started out compliant when they did the tenant improvements and moved in.
Any thoughts or comments?’
Note: We are now offering a new service, under our pricing check for “Turnkey ADA Accommodation“. Basically in addition to doing an ADA Exposure survey, we’ll fix all your items up to a certain amount and provide cost estimation for the rest so you can become compliant ASAP and significantly lower your outstanding exposure to ADA Lawsuits!
More on that soon.
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