Federal ADA Laws:
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, prohibits places of public accommodation and commercial facilities from discriminating against its patrons on the basis of disability. While the ADA has protected countless disabled individuals from becoming the victims of discrimination, it has become the subject of litigation abuse, especially in California. Most of the businesses that are sued do not even know that they are violating the ADA until they receive a summons to appear in court.
It is important to retain a law firm who specializes in ADA law. An ADA “access” lawsuit that is ignored will result in the business closing down until the repairs described in the plaintiff’s complaint are remedied; the costs of these repairs usually amount to thousands of dollars and take several months to rectify. Moreover, the Plaintiff in an ADA lawsuit is usually entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees incurred as a result of prosecuting the action. Accordingly, if a defendant contests an ADA lawsuit and loses, it will not only have to bring the subject property into compliance, but it will probably also be indebted to the plaintiff for thousands of dollars in legal expenses.
When a commercial facility is in violation of the ADA, it is almost always best to immediately bring the subject property into compliance. Nevertheless, a place of public accommodation or commercial facility need only comply with the ADA to the extent that doing so is “readily achievable.” Thus, a business’s financial condition is relevant to whether particular changes (e.g., a complete bathroom renovation) need actually be made. Courts have repeatedly ruled that a business need not comply with the ADA if compliance would cause the business to fail.