Must there a place at the bar for wheelchair users? Although there seems to be no relevant case law on the subject this is a contentious issue in many of the ADA cases we handle. It’s worthwhile to ask just what the ADA does or should require, or if that question can be answered based on the ADA and accompanying guidance and regulations.† More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA, ADA Policies, Apartments, Condominiums, Public Facilities, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: accessible parking, ada litigation, parking lots, Public accommodation
What’s wrong with this picture? You can be excused if you don’t immediately think, “no accessible parking,” but that might be the first thing that would come to mind for the defendant in Langer v. G.W. Properties, L.P., , 2016 WL 3419299, (S.D. Cal. June 21, 2016). Langer serves as a reminder that a business not usually covered by the ADA can become a “public accommodation” based on temporary use, and that this may lead to requirements for permanent changes. Commercial enterprises and apartment complexes should pay attention, as should any owner of raw land that allows it to be used for parking from time to time.
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA FHA General, ADA FHA Litigation General, Building Codes, DOJ, municipal government, Public Facilities, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: ada litigation, drive-by lawsuits, drive-by litigation, private lawsuits, restaurants, serial litigation
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA FHA Litigation General, DOJ, municipal government, Public Facilities, Title II Tags: accessible facilities, cities, project civic access, sidewalks
Does this look like a “service, program or activity?” The official position of the Department of Justice is that every city facility – sidewalks, buildings and the like – must be made accessible because building and maintaining those facilities is a “service, program or activity” of the city. The Fifth Circuit agreed in what has been a leading case on this issue, Frame v. City of Arlington. Now it appears this view is not unanimous. Just a month ago, in Babcock v. Michigan, 2016 WL 456213, (6th Cir. Feb. 5, 2016) the Sixth Circuit found that the Fifth Circuit was wrong, and that:
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA Point of Sale, ADA Vending Machines, Hospitality, Public Facilities Tags: ADA, NAMA, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Point of Sale, Vending Machines
Even after 25 years of regulation and litigation ADA obligations are still often uncertain. Does the ADA require that vending machines be accessible to the blind and if so what does that mean? It really isn’t clear at all.
In McGee v. Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc., 2015 WL 6620959 (E.D. La. 2015) the court held definitively that a Coca Cola vending machine is not, by itself, a place of public accommodation covered by the ADA. It noted, however, that the bus station in which the machine was located was a place of public accommodation and might well be obligated to provide accessible vending machines. The case was decided early, so there is no guidance as to what accessible means. More