A: ADAlawsuits.com can help you if you are being sued, don't want to be, or are an attorney representing a defendant. ADA plaintiffs' attorneys use mass-produced legal pleadings and count on quick, profitable settlements. ADAlawsuits.com can help you counter these forces in a variety of important ways, but we must confirm that you are either being sued or representing an actual defendant before we can reveal them. this site is not for attorneys representing ADA plaintiffs. Please see the Contact Us section of this website to find out how we can quickly verify that you are involved in an ADA lawsuit and begin helping you.
Q: Are you against people with disabilities?
A: Absolutely not! But we are against unscrupulous profiteers who exploit well-intentioned laws for their personal gain. We are aware of individuals who have filed more than 100 lawsuits in a matter of months, sometimes more than 9 a day. Some businessowners insist they've been sued by individuals who have never set foot in their stores. At this point, is this about accessibility, or just opportunism?
Many of the defendants in these cases are the smallest firms, which are targeted because they can least afford a "fight." In our fragile economy, can the neighboorhood grocery store, dry cleaners and barbershop afford to pay thousands of dollars in "tribute" as well as the cost to make ADA repairs? How does it help people with disabilities for these businesses to make a select few lawyers wealthier?
Q: Why can't a business just make the necessary repairs once it learns it's not complying with the ADA and avoid the penalty?
A: It works like this: a business which does not meet ADA standards can be forced to pay the attorneys' fees of any claimant who brings a lawsuit against it-- the longer the business resists, the more it will have to pay. There is no opportunity for the business to make the necessary repairs without paying the attorneys fees of the other side-- under most other laws in the United States, a business is given a short period to comply without incurring a penalty. Under the ADA, an attorney can walk into your business today and require you to pay them many thousands of dollars or defend a lawsuit you will most likely lose.
Obviously, the law needs to be changed to allow businesses at least 60 days to make the required improvements before they must pay a penalty. Unfortunately, many plaintiffs target the smallest businesses-- those that can least afford it in our fragile economy-- simply because they know these firms cannot afford a fight.
Q: What can I do to prevent an ADA lawsuit if I am not already being sued?
A: There are a number of things you can and should consider doing:
Make sure your business is ADA compliant. There are a number of professionals who can assist you in doing this. Obviously, the cheapest time to do this is before you are sued, when you do not have to pay a claimant's attorneys fees.
Consider statements like "if you can't come to us, we'll come to you" in your advertising and posting such statements at the entrance to your business, if such a service is realistically appropriate.
Consider installing video monitoring in your public areas and keep the tapes for at least a year. On one hand, you'll need to buy a few tapes. On the other hand, if you are sued, the tapes will be extremely helpful because: (a) the plaintiff will have to allege that they have sustained a personal injury on your premises; in most cases, there appears to be no evidence of this, (b) we've received reports of firms being sued by claimants who had never been to their businesses-- a video account will remove any doubt.
Educate your employees about the need to assist people with disabilities should they enter your establishment. Take care to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodation at the earliest possible point. Remember, there may be disabilities you can't readily ascertain, such as deafness. Discuss in advance what accommodations you can offer and be ready.
Consider forming a "private club." There is a significant exception under many ADA and similar provisions which exempt certain private clubs. To qualify, strict legal tests need to be met, so you should not attempt this without consulting with a highly qualified attorney. As you can imagine, a number of cases exist in which firms have tried to claim they were private clubs to avoid the effects of similar laws. There is no point in attempting this if you're not going to do it right. ADAlawsuits.com can work with you and your attorney to help determine whether the "private club" solution is a practical alternative for your firm and what would realistically be involved.