ADA Lawsuits – Defense of disabled access lawsuits still difficult

The LA Times reports that despite efforts to make ADA lawsuits more reasonable and less a vehicle for extortion, the ADA cases continue unabated.  This is because California law still allows damages of $4,000 per violation.  Moreover, to get the benefits of a recent change in the law making it harder to bring an ADA lawsuit, it requires business to undergo a review of their premises by a certified accessibility specialist, the cost of which (with repairs/alterations) can rival the cost of fighting off an ADA lawsuit and thus discourages businesses from taking this action.

LT Pacific Law Group has defended several of these cases, which generally arise from a disabled person visiting a business not to shop but for the sole purpose of finding violations (one of the most notorious examples is profiled here).  These cases rarely get to trial because the law can allow for the recovery of attorney fees and the business model of the plaintiff attorneys filing these suits generally allows for settlements in the neighborhood of $5,000: just enough for the attorney and Plaintiff to make a tidy profit but not enough that the business would fight such cases to the death.

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