I’ve blogged before about the problems created by a lack of ADA website regulations, including the difficulty courts have deciding just what “accessible website” means.* The Circuit Court most likely to shed light on this issue is the 11th Circuit, for the pending Gil v Winn-Dixie appeal presents the question directly. There is, however, a more fundamental problem. It may not be possible to create an objective standard for accessibility. I’ll explain why by looking at the most commonly referred standard, WCAG 2.x and showing that it is impossible to determine objectively whether any website actually conforms to WCAG 2.x at any Success Level. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA Miniature Horses, ADA service animals, Animals, FHA Emotional Support Animals Tags: ADA defense, Emotional Support Animals, FHA Defense, minature horses, service animals
Next Friday, May 3, I’m going to be presenting a webinar explaining how the FHA, ADA and ACAA treat animals of all kinds. Here’s the official link from the University of Texas School of Law CLE program.
Live from the UT CLE Studio on May 3, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 1.00 hour CLE, $65
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: What the ADA, FHA and Other Laws Say About Animals and Their Owners
With requests for accommodations for service animals and the like, learn how different laws cover such accommodations before referring your client to a specialist. This presentation outlines the ADA, FHA and the Air Carrier Access Actin in terms of the places covered by each. It discusses the difference between a “service animal” and every other kind of beast, and what the ADA vs. the FHA requires and what it permits in terms of verification of a need for the animal, and it also explores the rapidly developing law of what the ACAA requires and permits.
If you cannot watch the entire webcast at its scheduled time, register now and view the recorded eCourse when it is available in “Your Briefcase” after the webcast. Earn CLE credit (in TX and CA) on your time!
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA - Standing, ADA FHA General, FHA design/build litigation, First Fix Then Fight, Uncategorized Tags: ADA defense, ada litigation, FHA Defense, FHA design/build litigation
A third of the reported ADA and FHA decisions in the last three weeks involved a single plaintiff, Scott Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s name is often found in this blog because he has been a fertile source of decisions on a wide range of ADA issues. As discussed below, outrage is one common response to his lawsuits.
Outside the courts my ADA news feed delivers two kinds of articles for the most part. One kind complains about serial filers and their impact on local businesses. The other complains about the lack of accessibility in public accommodations and governmental entities. Neither seems to ask the big question that I have asked for years: Can’t we find some better way to increase accessibility than wasteful private litigation? The present system is a failure, as evidenced by the fact that decades after passage of the ADA private lawsuits continue to increase in number. Nonetheless, the two sides of the serial litigation issue seem stuck on a fruitless debate about the morality of serial filing instead of trying to address the possibility of a genuinely effective system of enforcement. And with that sermon behind us, here are your tax day cases. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, Apartments, Building Codes, Design Build Discrimination, FHA design/build litigation, FHA renovation, Residential Development Tags: Design/build liability, FHA Defense, FHA experts, FHA statute of limitations
The Court’s principal holding is the obvious but often overlooked rule the various safe harbors for the design and construction of multi-family dwellings are a shield, not a sword. In Miami Valley the plaintiffs produced a typical expert report in this kind of case. It listed several hundred supposed accessibility barriers based on deviations from the original FHA Guidelines promulgated by HUD in 1991 along with the assertion that because the Guidelines are the least restrictive of the HUD recognized safe harbors the apartments did not meet any safe harbor standard. Based on this evidence the plaintiffs sought summary judgment. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - Hotels, ADA - serial litigation, ADA - Standing, ADA Attorney's Fees, ADA Internet, ADA Litigation Procedure, ADA Mootness, FHA, FHA Reasonable Accommodation, Uncategorized Tags: ADA Counters, ADA defense, ADA Mootness, FHA Defense
I’m a day late with the St. Patrick’s Day Edition of Quick Hits but that’s no reason not to raise a toast to the saint who, as my great-grandfather William Mullin said, drove all the snakes out of Ireland except the politicians.