ICSC supports H.R. 620, The ADA Education and Reform Act, which closes the loophole in the federal law that has unintentionally produced “drive-by” ADA Title III lawsuits and adds safeguards that incentivize the remedy of alleged violations – without taking away the right to pursue “bad actors” who ignore compliance.
H.R. 620 is a “notice and cure” bill that requires a plaintiff to notify property owners about alleged violations and allows them 120 days to correct the potential problems before the clock starts running on attorney fees.
“Drive-by” ADA Title III federal lawsuits are on the rise nationwide. The suits are aimed at private businesses open to the public. The main driver in these actions is forcing a monetary settlement consisting mainly of attorney’s fees that only benefit the attorney and do little to increase access.
A “cash for compliance” industry has emerged with certain plaintiff’s firms inspecting shopping centers, theaters, stores and restaurants in order to allege minor, easily-correctable ADA infractions, such as those relating to parking lot striping and signs, bathroom dispensers and ramps. In many instances, a single plaintiff has filed dozens, even hundreds, of cases across a geographic area alleging violations.
Many property owners reasonably believed their properties were ADA-compliant based on assurances by state or local inspectors and/or outside consultants. Despite the best efforts of some states to curb ADA lawsuit abuse through additional litigation protections (such as special rules in district courts) federal legislation is still needed.
Send an email to your Representative today asking him or her to cosponsor H.R. 620. Maintaining bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats is imperative to gaining traction on this issue.
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