How to Avoid Drive-By ADA Lawsuits

How to Avoid Drive-By ADA Lawsuits

29 July 2022 By Admin

If you operate a business that is open to the general public, it is essential for you to understand the importance of ADA compliance. Failure to comply with the accessibility requirements described by the ADA could see you facing a potentially expensive lawsuit. At a time when drive-by ADA lawsuits are maliciously targeting California business owners, it is more important than ever to take ADA compliance seriously. It is well worth investing in the services of an experienced ADA concrete contractor to resolve any compliance issues you might have rather than face a lawsuit in the future.

What Exactly Is a Drive-By Lawsuit?

If you haven’t heard the term ‘drive-by lawsuit’ before then, you may be a little confused about what it has to do with ADA compliance at your place of business. Like any other ADA lawsuit, it is an accusation that you have failed to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, resulting in your business being inaccessible to disabled individuals. The drive-by part of the name comes from the fact that the plaintiff never actually attempted to access your business, but instead, they spotted potential violations from outside while driving by. Some individuals actually habitually do this and will file multiple lawsuits against businesses in the same neighborhood simultaneously. The good news is that working with an ADA concrete contractor like Protrk Construction can help to protect your business against this type of lawsuit.

Why Are Drive-By Lawsuits a Concern in California?

Drive-by ADA lawsuits have become something of a cottage industry in California over the past few years. In fact, two of the most prolific serial filers have raised over 1000 lawsuits between them since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Many of the businesses hit were actually closed at the time or only operating curbside pickups meaning the plaintiffs couldn’t have entered the business anyway at the time of the alleged violation. One of the key reasons why there are so many of these lawsuits in California is the UNRUH Act, which considers each violation of the ADA a civil rights violation. This carries minimum damages of $4000 per violation, making it an attractive option for those looking to make a fast buck! The key problem with these lawsuits is that they do not have any noble intent to increase accessibility in the community or raise awareness of ADA violations in order to facilitate change. Instead, they are only interested in making money for themselves. The problem has become so widespread that some cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have sued a law firm that they believe is illegally facilitating these lawsuits.

As an interesting side note - this has also resulted in so-called ‘Click-By Lawsuits’ with one man filing 850 lawsuits against online businesses and hotels claiming the booking or checkout process violated the ADA. Once again, many of these hotels were not even accepting bookings at the time due to the pandemic!

Protecting Against a Drive-By Lawsuit

So, what can you do as a business owner to avoid falling victim to a drive-by lawsuit? The best defense against any type of ADA lawsuit is to be ADA compliant. If there are no violations, there is no lawsuit! An ADA concrete contractor can help you remove barriers that might restrict access to your disabled clientele. One of the best places to start looking for potential issues is in your parking lot! Given the very nature of a drive-by lawsuit, parking is probably the first thing they will look at when trying to spot ADA violations. They wouldn’t even need to get out of the vehicle to see this type of violation. Work with an ADA concrete contractor who is well versed in the necessary requirements in terms of surfaces, striping, paths of travel, and even how many accessible parking bays are required.

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Design | Build | Certified

Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance. 

Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.

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