ADA mass filing roundup

  • U.S. House (215 Rs + 12 Ds) passes HR 620, ADA Education and Reform Act, aimed at curbing drive-by lawsuits by giving owners a chance to fix before being liable. Though a modest and targeted reform — it reaches only architectural barriers, and doesn’t try to get at web accessibility suits — it was met with wheelchair sit-ins and hysterical coverage about “gutting” the ADA, and its future in the Senate is uncertain [Minh Vu, Seyfarth Shaw]
  • Another idea, from Utah Rep. Norm Thurston: “The Bad Faith Demand Letters Concerning Americans with Disabilities Act” [Matt Gephardt and Michelle Poe, KUTV] “Disabled persons advocate says piles of lawsuits show ADA working as designed” [same, on views of Aaron Kinikini, legal director at Utah’s Disability Law Center]
  • “ADA litigant sues Chef Kwan’s, city of Menlo Park; She’s filed 37 suits in 30 months” [Palo Alto, Calif.; Emily Mibach, Daily Post]
  • Web accessibility complaints fuel continued surge in ADA suits [Seyfarth Shaw, more]
  • F’rinstance: lawyer rolls out ADA web accessibility claims against NYC grocers [Aaron Elstein, Crain’s New York] Celebrity and cosmetic brands hit [Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post] “Wet Willie’s” bar chain takes its number in line [Steven Helland, Frederikson & Byron]
  • “This suit is but one of 385 ADA lawsuits that Deutsch filed in 306 days” [Jon Deutsch v. Annis Enterprises on an Omar Rosales case] But Rosales beats a disciplinary proceeding rap in Travis County court, so maybe there’s nothing that violates current law in his challenged methods [David Barer, KXAN] More: Mark Pulliam.


  • Just a question for thought… How long after passage of ADA are those required to provide accessible facilities presumed to know the law and to have complied with it? 1 year? 10 years? 25 years? 100 years?

    • It’s a meaningless question. Accessibility demands are not something the owner of a small building or business can look up and then work through on a punchlist, even if willing to bear great expense. Instead, it’s common to hire an ADA consultant, do the recommended fixes and still get sued because a different consultant or activist (especially one with money to make by finding grounds for complaint) will find different issues.

      Questions like this do point up the need for much more radical steps to address the injustice and presumption of this law.

  • Understand, from my perspective I wish things to work and I also wish for them to be as low as possible for cost. Do you treat obscure barriers differently than obvious ones? Law enforcement gets a “good faith” exemption, do business owners? For example, I hired Joe x and this is the advice I received, all of which I implemented, as opposed to What is this ADA of which you speak?
    I fully realize that the subject is so complex that even the government itself doesn’t comply. They certainly do not mind giving themselves a pass either… But this isn’t that discussion, this is more a question of what business should reasonably know and have changed already given how long ADA has been the law of the land. I understand you have a problem with the concept of ADA, but that’s not the discussion either… How long after it’s made illegal to shoot/kill/collect feathers of migratory birds should the law as written be enforced? And more importantly, would it be better or worse to put enforcement exclusively into government hands? And would that be any better than the current situation? After all, it’s not just private folks/lawyers that love that sweet sweet cash, governments love to boost their bottom line at the expense of poor hapless folks with cash to take.
    I guess what I really want the answer to is how to make the law we have actually effective without any form of expense above and beyond the changes themselves. And that’s as likely as finding a unicorn.