Who deserves an ADA lawsuit? Where will the next one strike? Will it be you?

The Mo’s Universe family of restaurants/bars in Hillcrest (which includes Urban Mo’s, Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and the Hillcrest Brewing Company) has a solid reputation in the community for being a friendly and inviting place for all people, including those with disabilities.

For example, they recently helped sponsor a grassroots effort to raise $65,000 for a local disabled volunteer, donating thousands of dollars themselves to the cause.

Original article here: http://sdgln.com/entertainment/2013/09/04/jim-winsor-out-about-ada-lawsuit-shakedown-deserving

Serial litigants strike places that are out of compliance, regardless of who they are suing. In this case, this restaurant chain’s owners were donating money, and being strong philanthropists in the community. But the business that is sued for not being ADA compliance are places of public accommodation that are out of compliance.

In this case, parking striping.

The article is correct, finding a qualified certified access specialist is of the utmost importance. The laws change often and most contractors don’t even know how to measure the space properly. Each of these dimensions are very specific… so that either you know them or you don’t. For those that don’t everything looks fine. For those that do know them — problems can be quite obvious even to the naked eye.

This means, of course, that non-compliant items are effectively “sue me” advertisements to anyone passing by.

To boot, most of the items that need to be addressed immediately are inexpensive to fix, as those are the items which are easiest for plaintiffs to claim the responsible party was “negligent”. So that’s a double whammy!

Don’t hesitate. Save yourself time, money and piece of mind. Contact us right away. Don’t let your parking lines be $4,000 parking lines.

help@accesssolutionllc.com or 866 982 3212

State of Seal Beaches in terms of ADA Compliance

Seal Beach attempts to become compliant and discovers their master plan was not as thorough as it needed to be.

Seal Beach parks are in moderate compliance with a federal law, according to the 2013 Seal Beach Parks and Community Services Master Plan.

“Federally-mandated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to the city’s parks and their amenities is currently only met in moderate fashion,” the plan said. “With limited difficult terrain to restrict the achievement of this mandate, a number of the city’s parks have the potential to better serve those with physical challenges in their lives.”
The required improvements vary.

“In some cases this includes hard surface paths-of-travel from designated parking spaces to observation and activity areas, while handicap accessible picnic tables, drinking fountains, and playground surfacing can significantly improve access to several of the city’s parks’ areas,” the plan said.

Nonetheless, they are making significant efforts to determine how the can comply, and help improve the life and access of their residents.

Bravo, Seal Beach.

ADA Compliance is a Universal Issue Affecting People everywhere

Accessibility needs to be provided according to customer experience, as one theme park finds out.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A visit to Wild Waves Theme Park turned into a wave of disappointment for one Lynnwood man, who claims the slides and rides he wanted to enjoy weren’t accessible to him because he uses a wheelchair.

Mike Arendt came to the theme park last Friday with an able bodied friend looking to have some fun in the water.

Arendt said when he and his friend got to the top of one long ramp, they found two slides closed and others locked off to wheelchair users.

Arendt believes that lack of access violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I’m thinking, ‘How can they be allowing this with all of the new ADA laws and rules, to have it all barricaded off?'” Arendt said.

Original article here: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Wheelchair-user-claims-local-theme-park-is-breaking-ADA-laws-217040451.html

Lawsuit over a speedway in PA

ADA Compliancy is a matter of a combination of factors that really requires a complete assessment of your facility.

The more complex your site, the more attention you will need to devote to understanding what your customer’s experiences actually are.

Play areas for children still have a long way to go for compliance

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma – Parents just outside the metro are pushing for schools to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) They say barriers around the play equipment at their son’s new school are a big problem.

ADA compliance at playgrounds is a real problem across the state. The playgrounds are barricaded to retain the woodchips, but it’s those barriers that have children like Luke Stafford simply looking on as his classmates enjoy his favorite time of the day.

Read the original article here

A lawsuit over obesity and wrongful termination could lead the way for obesity to be considered a disability.

The repercussions go far beyond employment, as in the future obese individuals may have increased requirements on buildings.

In a new federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Whittaker v. America’s Car-Mart, Inc., the plaintiff is alleging his former employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired him for being obese. Plaintiff Joseph Whittaker claims the company, a car dealership chain, fired him from his job as a general manager last November after seven years of employment even though he was able to perform all essential functions of his job, with or without accommodations. He alleges “severe obesity … is a physical impairment within the meaning of the ADA,” and that the company regarded him as being substantially limited in the major life activity of walking.

The EEOC has also alleged morbid obesity is a disability protected under the ADA. In a 2011 lawsuit filed on behalf of Ronald Katz, II against BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP (BAE Systems), the EEOC alleged the company regarded Mr. Katz as disabled because of his size and terminated Katz because he weighed over 600 lbs. The suit alleged Mr. Katz was able to perform the essential functions of his job and had received good performance reviews. The case was settled after BAE Systems agreed to pay $55,000 to Mr. Katz, provide him six months of outplacement services, and train its managers and human resources professionals on the ADA. In a press release announcing the settlement, the EEOC said, “the law protects morbidly obese employees and applicants from being subjected to discrimination because of their obesity.”

Similarly, in 2010, the EEOC sued Resources for Human Development, Inc. (RHD) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for firing an employee because of her obesity in violation of the ADA. According to the suit, RHD fired Harrison in September of 2007 because of her severe obesity. The EEOC alleged that, as a result of her obesity, RHD perceived Harrison as being substantially limited in a number of major life activities, including walking. Ms. Harrison died of complications related to her morbid obesity before the case could proceed.

RHD moved for summary judgment, arguing obesity is not an impairment. The court, having reviewed the EEOC’s Interpretive Guidance on obesity, ruled severe obesity (body weight more than 100% over normal) is an impairment. The court held that if a plaintiff is severely obese, there is no requirement that the obesity be caused by some underlying physiological impairment to qualify as a disability under the ADA. The parties settled the case before trial for $125,000, which was paid to Ms. Harrison’s estate.

In June 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that obesity is a disease. Although the AMA’s decision does not, by itself, create any new legal claims for obese employees or applicants under the ADA, potential plaintiffs are likely to cite the new definition in support of ADA claims they bring. In light of these recent developments, obesity related ADA claims will likely become more common.

Although this case did not result in establishing obesity or even severe obesity as being a qualifying disability (rather than simply a disability), you can be sure more individuals will attempt this line of reasoning in the near future.

Original article can be read here: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=09eec0e6-9179-4b5b-9e17-68bc127da814

The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 23

Series of Articles on the 23rd anniversary of the ADA

Pretty much all the articles remark how far reaching the Americans with Disabilities Act was, and what a benefit it is for people, even while noting that many buildings still lack complete compliance.

Uptown Bill’s celebrates the Americans with Disabilities Act

23 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On the 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Uptown Bill’s celebrates the Americans with Disabilities Act

Our View: ADA deserves to be celebrated

Anniversary of disability rights law celebrated

Stavisky, Peralta, Miller, Rozic Celebrate ADA Anniversary

Anniversary of ADA celebrated in Oneida

ADA marks 23rd anniversary

Letters: Spirit of diversity

City in Georgia recognizes possible lawsuits from DOJ

The Thomaston City Council has unanimously approved revisions to the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan, which is a requirement of the federal government.

Originally enacted in 1990 and revised in 2010, Thomaston officials were tasked with revising the city’s plan to indicate it is in compliance with the federal legislation designed to ensure equal access to the disabled.
Read more: Thomaston Times – City Council approves revisions to ADA transition plan

Happy Accessible Clients is our Goal

It’s always good to feel appreciated.  A huge part of providing our professional service lies in how happy and grateful our clients are.

In particular, a project we worked on with a non-profit last year has proved fruitful.  They had us perform an inspection, determine a scope of work, and then did construction to become compliant.  By doing so, they fulfilled the local building authority’s requirements for accessibility and can now serve the public.

Friends of Culver City Scout House is pleased to announce the grand re-opening of the Culver City Scout House. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday June 7, 2013. Guests included Culver City Mayor Jeff Cooper, the City Council, City Staff, members of BSA Troop 113 and the Culver City Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC).

The Scout House has served the community for over 70 years. In 2009, a group of concerned citizens formed the non-profit Friends of Culver City Scout House (FOCCSH) in an effort to perform much-needed repairs and save the building. Working together with City officials, the FOCCSH came up with a plan to raise funds and perform the required renovations. The renovations were all done at no cost to the City. The restored facility is shared use, with the City receiving the majority of available hours.

Friends of Culver City Scout House express their appreciation to the following companies for the generosity of time and materials: Stock Building Supply, Timberland Tree Company, Mobile Mini and Bee Capture. Special thanks to Yours Truly Accessibility Corporation and The Architech Group for their expertise in accessibility compliance.

Original Link here: http://www.crescentbaybsa.info/culver-city-scout-house-reopens/

Web Accessibility?

The New York Times has noted the rise of ADA lawsuits for blind shoppers on websites.


Web accessibility is particularly easy to discover, but difficult to for the layperson to understand where to begin.

I don’t mean to get too into the topic here, but there are some easy to note violations:

  • Use of flash animation, especially as an integral part of the site
  • Images that lack title attributes
  • links that lack title attributes
  • Images used to convey textual information

If you are concerned about the accessibility of your websites, contact us with any questions at help@accesssolutionllc.com or 866 982 3212.