House Passes Bill to Curb Abusive ADA Lawsuits

The House of Representatives on Feb. 15 voted 225-192 in favor of the ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620), which would require any Americans with Disabilities Act civil action to specifically identify the alleged ADA violations or barriers to access being alleged. The bill would further provide defendants that own public accommodations (such as truckstop operators) a time period during which they can remedy alleged violations without being found liable in court.
Many truckstop operators have been targeted by frivolous "demand letters" and lawsuits vaguely alleging ADA violations.  These abusive letters, often filed by plaintiffs' attorneys that specialize in this type of practice, demand settlement money that is often just shy of the amount of money it would cost a retailer to successfully defend the case in court.  H.R. 620 is designed to protect against such abusive tactics.

Although this is a positive development for NATSO members, the legislation faces an extraordinarily uphill battle in the Senate. 

NATSO has prepared an ADA design requirements summary and compliance guide for members. Additionally, the NATSO Foundation has prepared a more detailed ADA Compliance Toolkit.

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David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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