ADA Reform Bill Requires Aggrieved To Provide Building Owners With Advanced Written Notice Before Filing Lawsuit
Those taking advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will have a difficult time pursuing lawsuits against business owners without significant notice going forward.
These serial suers, as they are called, intentionally seek out and sue property owners in violation of ADA requirements to provide necessary accommodations for the disabled community. These suers hope to turn a profit by ensnaring business owners in civil suits, and then settling out-of-court claims for thousands of dollars — sometimes without ever stepping foot inside of the buildings. To cut down on these actions, the House Judiciary Committee has passed a reform bill to prevent serial suers from profiting from ADA.
The bill, which passed last week, seeks to decrease the number of lawsuits filed for building access issues that are correctable with an appropriate amount of notice, The Real Estate Roundtable reports.
According to a study by the International Council of Shopping Centers, ADA lawsuits increased 37% between 2015 and 2016. Under the new regulations, any aggrieved person would be required to first address the property owner about the building's deficiencies via written notice. The owner would then have 120 days to correct the alleged issues before a civil suit could move forward.
The purpose of the bill is to legitimately increase accessibility and resolve ADA issues rather than cater to opportunistic attorneys seeking fees for related lawsuits.