NATSO joined trade associations representing a broad spectrum of the U.S. economy in applauding Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) for introducing the bipartisan ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 620, that seeks to curb frivolous lawsuits filed by cash-hungry attorneys and plaintiffs that abuse the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
H.R. 620 would amend Title III of the ADA to include a provision that would allow a business to identify and correct alleged ADA violations before engaging in a lengthy and costly settlement process.
In a letter, the associations thanked Congressman Poe for his attention to this issue, writing that legislation is needed to ensure that resources are focused on improving access and compliance with the law while protecting business from abusive lawsuits.
The ADA establishes design requirements for the construction or alteration of public facilities, including travel plazas and truckstops. NATSO members have significant exposure under the ADA's design requirements simply because truckstops and travel plazas are easy targets for plaintiffs -- potential violations can be spotted without even exiting a vehicle.
Amending the ADA would allow businesses to provide improved access to public accommodations for disabled Americans while preventing business owners from falling victim to frivolous lawsuits.
“Unfortunately, the ADA is being undermined by a growing ‘cottage industry’ made up of attorneys and plaintiffs who file lawsuits against business and property owners over alleged violations,” the organizations wrote in the letter to Rep. Poe. “The current system creates confusion amongst business and property owners who reasonably believed their property was ADA compliant – typically based on assurances by state and local inspectors. Oftentimes, business owners find it is less expensive to settle the suits than to defend them, even if the property owner is compliant. This bill will change that by requiring that business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken.”
Signatories includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Realtors, American Hotel and Lodging Association, and National Restaurant Association among others.
The Americans with Disabilities Act – Design Requirements: Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas can be accessed here.
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