Archive for the ‘News Reports’ Category




ADA Lawsuit Links

| Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 | Comments Off on ADA Lawsuit Links

I haven’t been keeping up with the online news, so this blog has been falling behind.

Things have been really busy.

Anyhow, here’s a list of some ADA compliance/lawsuit articles within the last 6 months.

That’s it for now. Toodles.

ADA: Why is it needed?

| Friday, December 20th, 2013 | Comments Off on ADA: Why is it needed?

Quite a few years ago, I was getting ready to administer a basketball game when a local patron informed that we did not have the handicapped parking signs in the right place.

In the midst of all of my pregame duties, my thoughts were not too kind. I actually thought he was overreacting just a bit.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago. I noticed a couple who got out of their car in a handicapped parking zone and walked into the restaurant without any apparent difficulty. They did not sprint to their seat, but I could not see any problem.

I have been educated by people “in the know” that you cannot always see a physical disability. I might also add that this disgruntled patron of many years ago has become a good friend. Why the difference in my attitude? I now have many friends who have a handicap and so do I.

It has taught me a great lesson: to not judge someone until I have walked in their shoes.

The American Disabilities Act was passed on July 26, 1990. It was introduced by Senator Harkin from Iowa. Our own senator, Bob Dole, was very influential in crafting this bill. It was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. It provided for handicap accessibility to all public buildings and facilities.
At the time I was a little bit concerned about the cost and work involved in meeting those guidelines. Was it absolutely necessary? It was determined if we wanted to renovate an old school gym, for instance, we would have to spend a huge amount of money to make it handicap accessible. The doors to buildings and classroom would have to be adjusted.

It was hard for me to see that, when I did not need such conveniences at the time.

My life has changed a lot since 1983 when I was diagnosed with MS. In recent years I have resorted to using a walker and scooter. For me, it has been a Godsend when I want to go long distances.

Read more here: http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20131121/OPINION/131129795/-1/sport/?tag=1

http://www.news10.net/news/article/264475/339/ADA-lawsuits-investigated

| Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 | Comments Off on http://www.news10.net/news/article/264475/339/ADA-lawsuits-investigated

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

Questionable lawsuits against Eagle Lake dentist dismissed

| Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 | Comments Off on Questionable lawsuits against Eagle Lake dentist dismissed

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 city cabs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

| Thursday, December 5th, 2013 | Comments Off on Nearly 500 city cabs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

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

Reasonable Accommodations means reasonable

| Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | Comments Off on Reasonable Accommodations means reasonable

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

ADA compliance remains the most assured solution

| Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Comments Off on ADA compliance remains the most assured solution

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

ADA Links

| Friday, November 15th, 2013 | Comments Off on ADA Links

More news as local businesses and papers become aware of the lack of ADA compliance — mainly through lawsuits.

This has been our experience as well — that local businesses remain ignorant of the law. Unfortunately, their first awareness of this issue remains a lawsuit.

Here are some recent articles on the internet about ADA compliance/ADA lawsuits.

The public is slowly becoming aware of ADA compliance issues

| Thursday, October 31st, 2013 | Comments Off on The public is slowly becoming aware of ADA compliance issues

The Huffington Post has reposted an article on common ADA violations.

They aren’t as technical as what we are used to here, at Yours Truly Accessibility but it’s well worth noting that the public is slowly becoming aware of the importance of these issues.

The Americans with Disabilities Act may have been passed over 23 years ago, but apparently that still isn’t enough time for society to get their act together when it comes to following all aspects of the law. ADA violations happen every day all over the country with many businesses feeling the ultimate sting of not complying – being shut down.

But being shut down doesn’t have to be the end result. The government gives plenty of time to businesses to do what is right, however there are still some businesses out there who refuse to comply no matter how much time is given.

As the public becomes more aware of such issues, such issues are bound to get traction and become more acceptable as issues that need to be addressed. Compliancy is on its way!

You can read the original post here and here

U.S. Proposes ADA Compliance for Public Websites

| Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 | Comments Off on U.S. Proposes ADA Compliance for Public Websites

The US government is proposing that ADA compliance for websites (title IV under the ADA) be enacted with its own set of laws.

When Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the public Internet did not exist. Over the past 23 years, making the Internet accessible to those with disabilities has been a low priority for both the federal government and Internet businesses, bolstered by the fact that court decisions refuted the idea that the ADA applied to the Internet. Now, the federal government, with prodding from groups representing the disabled, is acknowledging how much of daily life the Internet affects. This past July, the U.S. Department of Justice proposed rules mandating that all state and local government websites be accessible to those with disabilities. Later this year, the DOJ is expected to do the same for all public websites, defining them as places of “public accommodation.”

You can read the entire article below: Click here

In general there are some rules of thumb for website compliance, but once these laws pass, there will be both an increase in scrutiny of websites and a cottage lawsuit industry to do the same.