Today’s Google news brought another batch of outraged articles about serial ADA plaintiffs and legislators looking for solutions to the ADA litigation epidemic. The serial filer was in the Wichita, Kansas area, and the legislators were in Colorado, but otherwise the stories were pretty much the same as the stories last week, and the week before, and the week before that. Business owners say they were surprised to find that they were not ADA compliant, and lawmakers say the law should require a pre-suit demand so businesses have a chance to fix their problems before they get sued. The plaintiff, or his lawyer, always points out that the ADA has been in effect for 25 years, so it shouldn’t really be news. More
Temporary profits can mean a permanent problem under the ADA
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.
The Economist covers serial ADA litigation – Hunt quoted.
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - Hotels, ADA - serial litigation, ADA FHA Litigation General, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: ADA drive-by litigation, ADA serial litigation, frequent filers, Strojnik, The Economist
This is a bit of tooting our own horn. In an article published in the May 28 edition of The Economist, and available on-line at the following link (“Frequent Filers”) Richard is quoted concerning the serial litigation epidemic. This followed several hours of interviews with reporter Benjamin Sutherland in which Richard provided background information on the ADA and so-called “drive-by” litigation. You don’t have to wait for The Economist to publish another article, or wonder how much information was left out because of format restrictions. Just subscribe to our blog for frequent updates on the ADA and FHA.
As an aside, the Arizona attorney quoted in the article, Peter J. Strojnik, should not be confused with his son P. Kristofer Strojnik, (also sometimes referred to as Peter K. Strojnik), who was the subject of a May 13, 2016 ruling from the Central District of California. In Brooke v. Clay Andro Peterson, 2016 WL 2851440 (C.D.Cal. May 13, 2016) the District Judge dismissed three lawsuits filed by P. Kristofer Strojnik that were based solely on telephone calls to various hotels by the plaintiff. The reasoning will apply to many of P. Kristofer Strojnik’s cases, and should be studied by any lawyer representing clients sued by the plaintiff, Ms. Brooke, or by P. Kristofer Strojnik’s firm. For more detail, see tomorrow’s blog – “Dialing for Dollars Revisited.” You will find more information on P. Kristofer Strojnik at the State Bar of Arizona website: Phoenix Attorney Peter K. Strojnik Suspended
for Threatening Opposing Party with Public Shaming.
Abusive ADA Litigation – the answer is local, not legal
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
ADA Maintenance – An ounce of prevention . . . .
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA, ADA Attorney's Fees, ADA FHA Litigation General, ADA Policies, Policies and Procedures FHA ADA, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: ada litigation, ADA Policies, private lawsuits, restaurants, retail
One of the many ADA risks that businesses face is the risk of sliding into non-compliance through maintenance failures. This seems to come up most often in the context of parking, because the markings required for accessible parking are exposed to the weather and to wear from car tires. I recently settled a case of this type, and a reported opinion from California was a reminder of how important maintenance can be.
In Lozano v. C.A. Martinez Family Ltd. P’ship, 2015 WL 5227869, at *4 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 8, 2015), the complaint concerned nothing more complicated than striping accessible parking. The paint had faded and on repeated occasions over months the access aisles were blocked. As soon as the lawsuit was filed the owner repainted, but that was too late for the Court, which found that a policy of re-striping that apparently had not been followed would not let the owner escape an injunction and, of course, paying fees to the plaintiff’s attorney. More