30 March 2022 By Admin
If you are a business or property owner in the state of California, it is beneficial for you to have a little knowledge regarding how ADA compliance works in the Golden State! Ignorance is not an excuse if you find yourself facing a non-compliance lawsuit! The only defense is compliance, and you can achieve that with the help of an ADA concrete contractor. Now, let’s dive a little deeper into ADA compliance in California.
Fun Fact! Did you know that California is one of the most compliant states in the entire United States? However, that could be because it is also known to be one of the most litigious when it comes to ADA violations!
One of the significant differences when it comes to ADA compliance in California is that you are not just working to meet the standards laid out by the Americans with Disabilities Act; you also need to meet the requirements of the California Building Code. It is important to work with an experienced ADA concrete contractor who is familiar with both sets of regulations and can make sure that you are compliant with all of them.
ADA compliance is essential no matter where you are, but for business owners in California, it is particularly important to be in compliance if you want to avoid a lawsuit. Since the ADA was enacted in 1992, it is estimated that well over 20,000 ADA lawsuits have been filed in California alone. This litigation is costing Californian businesses over $20 million every year! The state is so litigious in comparison to other states because California has also enacted the Unruh Civil Rights Act. This law requires that every person be equal and entitled to full and equal access to accommodations, facilities, services, and privileges regardless of any disability. This means that any ADA violation is considered a Human Rights Violation carrying a minimum penalty of $4,000 in damages for the plaintiff for each violation. This means that if a disabled person visited the same business ten times and faced accessibility issues every time due to ADA violations, they could receive a minimum of $40,000 in damages.
Unfortunately, although the laws are there to protect the rights of disabled individuals, they have also made it very easy for serial lawsuit filers to take advantage of the rules to make money. The past few years have seen a recent trend for so-called ‘drive-by lawsuits’ where someone drives around looking for violations and filing lawsuits without intending to patronize the business. One such serial filer, Albert Dytch, has filed 180 lawsuits against businesses in California, while another, Scott Johnson, has filed over 1000 ADA lawsuits in two years. These are just two of many prolific serial drive-by lawsuit filers in California.
While it is a valid complaint that the businesses violate the ADA and should work on removing existing barriers for disabled customers, these lawsuits are not in the spirit in which the ADA was intended. Serial filers are using it as a cottage industry to make a living rather than having any desire to see changes made to accommodate disabled people. Some lawyers are now challenging these cases from known serial filers by gathering evidence to prove that they never attempted to visit the business and never intended to be a customer.
New legislation in California finally offers business owners some protection from this type of lawsuit. Still, the best defense for your business is to make sure that you are ADA compliant, avoiding the lawsuit altogether. An ADA concrete contractor can help you to achieve compliance.
Senate Bill 1608 allows business or property owners to arrange an inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). The CASp inspection will identify readily achievable barrier removal even if the property is not fully compliant. The report can be used as proof of intent to correct the violations within a specific timeframe. As your ADA concrete contractor, Protrk Construction can refer you to a trusted CASp to carry out your inspection and work with you on removing the barriers highlighted in the report.
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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.
Being involved in ADA design and construction has given me the opportunity to help a lot of business owners and commercial property owners prevent costly ADA compliant lawsuits.
Owner & Founder Protrk®
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