ADA Lawsuit Reforms Continuing Rise in Popularity
The state of California's reforms to ADA lawsuits has made national news recently. The new rules target frivolous ADA lawsuits, putting in more opportunities for small business owners to correct ADA violations before they are subject to major fines or lawsuits. With these reforms, the goal is to cut down on the amount of people who are able to essentially make a living off of these lawsuits by filing thousands in a single year.
Minnesota recently followed suit with proposed changes of its own. Now, a serial lawsuit filed in Florida could prompt the state to consider reevaluating the way ADA lawsuits are processed there.
The target of the Florida lawsuit in question is Mike Walters, the owner of a small inn with beautiful ocean views. Since acquiring a failing in years ago, he has turned it into a high-quality resort with private beach access. He himself is a double amputee, which perhaps makes it ironic that he is facing significant fines in an ADA lawsuit.
The person filing the lawsuit is Howard Cohan, who has filed more than 1,000 ADA compliance lawsuits within the past couple of years alone. Cohan is disabled as well and makes his living visiting thousands of hotels and filing federal ADA compliance lawsuits against those that are not compliant with ADA standards. He refers to his job as being a “tester.”
According to the lawsuit, Walters’ pool at the resort is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Walters himself says the law is not clear as to whether he even is required to have one. However, his own lawyer says he should simply settle because going to court would be far too expensive.
It is situations like this, which put small business owners in a bind that have led to states considering ADA lawsuit reform. It remains to be seen whether Florida will be the next state to consider such reforms, but Walters’ case is definitely an eye-opener.
In the meantime, businesses across the nation need to be sure they are in full compliance with the ADA, and part of this is having ADA signage. For more information about outfitting your organization with ADA compliant signage, contact us at Erie Custom Signs.