It’s still better to be compliant than invite situations like this.
SACRAMENTO – At Fine Line Trim & Upholstery in Rancho Cordova, owner Victor Valdivia is paying a price.
“Every month it’s $2,000,” Valdivia said.
Those monthly payments go to Valdivia’s attorney as he fights a lawsuit brought by a Carmichael man for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.
The lawsuit was brought by 51-year-old Scott Johnson.
Valdivia said in August he saw two women in their early 20s taking pictures of his business and measuring parking places, and a few weeks later he was served with the lawsuit.
Original post here: http://www.news10.net/news/article/264475/339/ADA-lawsuits-investigated
What business owners have always suspected comes to light:
EAGLE LAKE — An attorney who has drawn national attention for filing questionable civil lawsuits in federal court has dismissed four lawsuits he filed on behalf of a North Mankato woman and a Mankato man who are visually impaired.
Paul Hansmeier, a Minneapolis attorney, has filed the lawsuits naming Lily Poss and Flint Million as plaintiffs and four Minnesota businesses as defendants. The lawsuits, two in each of his clients’ names, claimed the businesses were violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not making their websites accessible to people who are visually impaired. Poss and Million use special equipment and programs that describe websites to them.
The one lawsuit filed against an area business, Eagle Lake Family Dentistry, was dismissed Monday. That case and a lawsuit against Bancwest Investment Services name Poss as the plaintiff. Poss said Nov. 8 that she didn’t know that cases against Bancwest and Family Dentistry had been filed by Hansmeier. The Bancwest case was dismissed Nov. 11.
Attorneys representing Family Dentistry filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit Oct. 28, the same day it was moved from Blue Earth County District Court to federal court. The motion also asked a federal judge to award attorneys’ fees to the business.
That portion of the motion accused Hansmeier of abusing the legal system and using “shakedown” tactics because Poss never intended to be a patient at the business. When Poss was interviewed by The Free Press after the motion was filed, she said Hansmeier and his associates provided her with a list of Minnesota business websites to check and Family Dentistry happened to be on one of those lists.
“Here, Plaintiff does not allege that she ever patronized Eagle Lake (Family Dentistry) and she alleges no intention to do so in the future,” the written motion says. “Plaintiff lacks standing, and her complaint fails to state a claim for relief upon which relief can be granted. If Plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed, Eagle Lake will be the prevailing party and entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees under the ADA.
“This lawsuit does not assert claims of a plaintiff who has suffered or will suffer harm or injury because of Eagle Lake’s actions. Instead, this lawsuit appears designed to procure a benefit for (Hansmeier). That is not a legitimate purpose for litigation under the ADA.”
Business owners are often quick to dismiss ADA claims as being frivolous. So this story is interesting because it does demonstrate that sometimes ADA cases are brought against businesses in order to make money. However, while it would be better not to be sued at all, why invite your own customers to sue you for bad service?
Compliancy still remains the answer.
Original Post here: http://www.mankatofreepress.com/local/x537114425/Questionable-lawsuits-against-Eagle-Lake-dentist-dismissed
Nearly 500 of the city’s yellow cabs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because they’re not wheelchair accessible, the state attorney general has concluded.
By any common-sense measure, Toyota Siennas and Ford Transit Connects are vans and must be able to carry wheelchair users under the federal ADA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said in a letter last week .
Original post here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/500-city-cabs-violate-federal-law-ag-article-1.1522696
Some accommodations must always be made:
Walmart accused of not providing baskets in ADA lawsuit
CHARLESTON – A Hurricane resident is suing over claims Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Duane J. Ruggier II filed a lawsuit Oct. 24 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington against Wal-Mart Stores East LP, citing the Americans With Disabilities Act and West Virginia statutes.
The plaintiff states he is physically disabled and must use a power wheelchair.
In September, the plaintiff visited the Walmart in Hurricane and encountered barriers, he says. Specifically, he was unable to easily use full-size shopping carts and the defendant refused to provide shopping baskets, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff contends the defendant’s refusal to provide shopping baskets significantly interferes with the physically disabled’s ability to access the facility and is in violation of state and federal law.
Ruggier is seeking an undetermined amount of relief, including injunctive relief and punitive damages. The plaintiff is being represented by Nitro attorney Thomas H. Peyton of Peyton Law Firm PLLC.
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case No. 3:13-cv-26640
Original article here
It has been almost a year since the Department of Justice’s ADA requirement for fixed or permanent pool lifts in “places of public accommodation” has been in effect. Now a fact (and cost) of doing business in the hospitality industry, many of our clients and friends in the industry are asking, “what’s the result of all this activity, what’s going on now?” Well, after all the lobbying, education, handwringing, headaches, counseling, and expense, we can say …. things went pretty much as predicted:
- Many hotel owners complied with the requirements and were prompted to take a comprehensive look at all ADA requirements and bring their properties and procedures into enterprise-wide compliance.
- Others are getting sued by serial plaintiffs, armed with a new reason to sue hotel owners under the ADA.
If these businesses that ignore the law, or tried to change the law simply complied with the law, then they wouldn’t have been sued.
Original article here
Here is another article detailing the state of ADA lawsuits, particularly in California.
The passage of SB1186 gave litigants a pause but there has now been sufficient time for these attorneys and their plaintiffs to figure out how to get around some of the issues.
Nonetheless, with the rise of many copy-cat litigants, they can make some basic mistakes after not understanding SB1186 and what it entails. This article is pretty good at summarizing some of the recent changes.
Disability lawyers are learning how to litigate around these new requirements and are proceeding with lawsuits seeking at least $1,000 per violation along with attorney’s fees and costs. Obstruction of disabled persons designated parking spaces, regardless of intent, is one of many new allegations dealers must face
You can read the full article below: ADA claims are back and on the rise
Worried about such a lawsuit coming your way? We can help you discover your liability! Call us at 866 982 3212 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the rising issues with ADA lawsuits is some of the confusion over State and Federal court. Since businesses could be sued under either, there needs to be more comprehensive strategies in how to deal with such ADA litigation.
Below is an article that addresses some of these problems without giving a clear solution.
It’s a very clear article.
But then, why is there a lack of a legal solution? There isn’t a clear solution as your strategy will depend on the size of your business. However your attorney pay spin a situation, or deploy a strategy to help you, the facts always remain that a violation is a violation.
Now while you may not be legally required to fix all violations (some being too cost prohibitive), you are best off fixing items that you can fix.
So what should you fix?
It is this reason that the first step to compliance is… *drum roll please *… getting a comprehensive assessment as to what your violations are. After that you can start to fix the violations that trouble you.
We can do accessibility assessment for you.
866 982 3212
We’ve posted hundreds of articles in the few years that our website has been up.
This article is typical in detailing how lawsuits are yet, on the rise again.
This time, the article is about a smaller town in the great state of Illinois.
While our company does work primarily in South California, this is a good review of how these litigious situations in California arose.
Grooming Unleashed is one of more than a dozen businesses Straw sent the correspondence to a few weeks ago. His demand letters have created a stir among members of the village’s business community, many of whom are suspicious of his intentions. The executive director of the Streamwood Chamber of Commerce even called police after getting the letter, worried it was a scam.
But disabled rights advocates and experts on ADA law say while Straw’s approach may not win him friends, what he’s doing is not illegal.
The 44-year-old Straw, a licensed attorney in Indiana and Virginia, targeted businesses in Hillbrook Square Shopping Center and Parkview Plaza, both near Streamwood and Bartlett roads.
He says Hillbrook has no handicapped parking and Parkview is lacking curb cuts and proper signage.
Straw said he is justified in sending out demand letters instead of reaching out to business owners in person, given that the ADA was passed 23 years ago and businesses have had plenty of time to comply.
He demanded $5,000 from each business owner, since, he says, an annual tax credit of that amount is available to small businesses that remove a barrier or install improved accessibility features.
“I don’t have time to go around and have a polite conversation with every one of these businesses that is not compliant,” Straw said. “I’m not here to be their friend. I’m here to make them compliant.”
Click here for complete article
Worried about getting such a suit? We can help you. Call us at 866 982 3212 or email us at email@example.com
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL–(Marketwired – Aug 28, 2013) – LaBovick Law Group filed a federal lawsuit in the United States Southern District Court of Florida Monday afternoon on behalf of a woman who is deaf and was denied treatment at Port St. Lucie Pain Management. The firm’s Director of ADA Litigation, Joseph R. Fields Jr., is using a unique theory that allows him to ask for pain and suffering damages on behalf of his client.
Elizabeth Jones is deaf. She was referred to Dr. Anthony Rogers and his medical practice, Port St. Lucie Pain Management, by her primary care physician. Mrs. Jones made an appointment with the clinic and requested that an interpreter be present for at least the first visit. When advised that an interpreter was necessary for effective communication between Mrs. Jones and the doctor, her appointment was canceled by Port St. Lucie Pain Management. She has continued to experience severe pain and suffering since then. Had the doctor and/or his medical office not canceled the treatment, the woman’s pain problems could have been treated and her pain eased.
The claim alleges the following:
“Defendants have implemented an office policy, practice, or procedure of discriminating against persons with hearing impairments. Specifically, defendants require all deaf patients to provide their own interpreters and/or refuse to provide patients an interpreter at the defendants’ own expense,” and “Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress and damages in the past, and continues to suffer distress and damages in the future due to defendants’ refusal to provide her with medical treatment unless she agrees to pay for her own interpreters.”
Policy is equally important when it comes to providing access.
Original post here: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/labovick-law-group-files-unique-federal-ada-lawsuit-against-pain-management-clinic-1825318.htm