Every few months another district court confronts the inherent tension between private enforcement of laws like the ADA and the standing requirements for individual litigants in the federal courts. The Constitution regards private lawsuits as a means to vindicate private rights, and the constitutional requirements for private litigants make an uneasy fit with the goal of promoting public policies concerning accessibility for those with disabilities. The Constitution requires that a private litigant have “ standing,” which means that the party ust have suffered an injury caused by the defendant that the courts can somehow fix. In ADA litigation neither the injury nor the court’s ability to fix it may be obvious. The result is a mishmash of inconsistent approaches to standing that leaves little certainty for litigants. More
ADA FHA Litigation General
By Richard Hunt
“Drive-by litigation.” That is how two major real estate trade groups referred to abusive ADA litigation in a letter to Congress. Do we really think a guy in a wheelchair who couldn’t get into the bathroom is like a murderous gang member killing for sport? To be fair, many members of the plaintiffs’ bar use equally strong language when describing real estate developers and owners. I’d like to suggest that if both sides focused on real problems instead of rhetoric we would have more progress and less litigation. More
By Richard Hunt
Sooner or later, almost every owner of a commercial or multi-family residential property will receive a demand letter or be served with a lawsuit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or Fair Housing Act accessibility standards. Although the accessibility standards are now more than 20 years old, accessibility lawsuits continue to increase, and surveys indicate that almost all commercial and multi-family properties have some accessibility violations.
Accessibility lawsuits are always irksome. More