ADA Lawsuit Reform
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 620, was introduced on Jan. 24, 2017 by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX), Scott Peters (D-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Ami Bera (D-CA). The legislation addresses an unintended consequence of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has resulted in a national surge in "drive-by lawsuits," by creating a pause in litigation to allow businesses the opportunity to correct alleged barriers to access.
Lawsuits associated with ADA violations have been on the rise in recent years. More lawsuits of this type were filed in federal court across the country in the past six months than were filed in all of 2013. In many instances, a single plaintiff has filed dozens, even hundreds, of cases across a geographic area alleging violations. The legislation establishes a "notice and cure" provision that would create a temporary pause in litigation for up to 120 days before a lawsuit can be filed, allowing property owners the opportunity to correct identified barriers to access. The measure also mandates additional compliance safeguards, incentives to remedy alleged violations and additional resources to train professionals to provide guidance and remediation for potential ADA violations.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but many business owners say they're nothing more than a shakedown.
More than 1,500 business owners in Arizona have been sued recently by a nonprofit for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. But critics of the cases call the group's effort a scam.
Sen. Jeff Flake is set to introduce a new bill that would give businesses sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act a cure period to fix alleged issues before a lawsuit could be filed.