What will it take (to avoid an ADA lawsuit)?

| Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 | Comments Off on What will it take (to avoid an ADA lawsuit)?

This is the fifth time.

A business owner went to one of our seminars about six months ago. Saw our presentation on ADA compliance. Heard about

  1. the gap between the coverage of the California Building Code and the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act,
  2. learned that in the California Civil Code Section 52 and 54 he was liable for 4k worth of damages minimum of affected violations of the ADA

Of course when asked if he was interested in getting our help, he said no. He went back to his store, fixed a few items immediately that he learned from our presentation… and then was several months later sued for 80 thousand dollars worth of damages. He then went and hired us.

Another one of our clients heard our seminar, decided to hire us and then upon having a consultation and an inspection paid for our services. In following up with this client, when asked if they were going to look through the report and start to fix issues they said “No. We don’t need to. We have the report.”

I don’t know what else to say. We have started working with contractors to try and offer inspections and fixes — but in general most of our clients only want us to do the report. This is okay but reports are useless unless you also fix the actual issues! Getting sued is the worst case scenario — most disabled visitors simply won’t go to your store if they can’t get in. The only ones who sue are either extremely frustrated or looking for money.

It’s so unfortunate that it takes a lawsuit to get a perfectly good business to comply, but is that what it takes? Personally I would like to see businesses hire us and let us help them find effective ways to comply. Suing a business doesn’t help that business in any way. In fact, it’s an incredibly hurtful process that doesn’t leave the business in better shape before it was sued.

So avoid lawsuits! It’s many of the very simple things that can get a business in trouble. Most of our clients that have been sued have been sued over parking paint and signage. How expensive is that? Now, maybe not everything can be fixed right away, (like signage or parking paint) but most things can be taken care of eventually. If you can only afford $100 a month for accessibility, or even $50 by all means, budget it! Get it done! Also, look for ADA experts who can tell you what needs to be done and how to remediate that violation so you ARE accessible. It’s painful to see businesses that have done work trying to become accessible and getting it so wrong.

I don’t know what else we can do. We give free seminars, and publish free information… I guess that’s really all we can do.

We are working on putting one of our older education seminars online. In the meantime, stay tuned. I am a little swamped with work so I haven’t had time to write too much on here, but I do have some more updates planned.

In the mean while, here’s an older website about some factoids about the access lawsuit situation in California (which is on the rise, by the by). The website is called ADA Crisis. It’s full of interesting facts, like “Did you know, at least 42% of the ADA/accessibility lawsuits in the U.S. are filed in California?”

Anyway, as always, our contact information if you have any questions: 866 982 3212 and help@accesssolutionllc.com.

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