Physical Accessibility

By Eden Anderson

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal judge precluded the plaintiff from multiplying his statutory damages under the Unruh Act by his alleged number of visits to the defendant’s business.

California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh Act”) provides for the recovery of the greater of actual damages or $4,000 in statutory damages for “each particular occasion” of access denial.  (Civil
Continue Reading Federal Judge Rejects Plaintiff’s Attempt to Inflate Unruh Act Statutory Damages by Making Multiple Visits to Business

Seyfarth Synopsis: The ADA Title III team makes a 3-part video series containing 30 tips for businesses on how to better serve individuals with disabilities.

July 26, 2020, is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To mark this important occasion, attorneys from Seyfarth’s ADA Title III Team put on their best work-from-home shelter-in-place attire to create a
Continue Reading ADA 30: 30 Tips for 30 Years – Seyfarth Marks the ADA’s Anniversary with a 3-Part Video Series

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The Ninth Circuit holds that the ADA does not require a 36 inch length of clear sales counter space when the entire counter provided for all customers is at an accessible height.

When a business provides only one sales counter for all customers to use and that entire counter is at an accessible height of 36 inches or
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Serial Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits About the ADA’s Accessible Sales Counter Requirements

By John W. Egan

Seyfarth Synopsis: Businesses are defending record numbers of ADA Title III cases every year.  A recent decision in New York underscores the challenges business face when ADA plaintiffs are more interested in protracted litigation than settlement. 

The number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed annually has increased more than 300 percent in the last five years. 
Continue Reading New York Judge Criticizes Plaintiff’s ADA Firm For Refusing to Discuss Early Settlement and Engaging in Fee-Churning Litigation Tactics

Seyfarth Synopsis:  DOJ provides guidance on sales/service counter rules in the 2010 Standards that provides some relief to businesses.

Retailers and other businesses should be pleased with the DOJ’s pronouncement on February 25, 2019, that they can lawfully provide sales/service counter space that is less than 36” long, as long as the entire space is at an accessible height of
Continue Reading Justice Department: Businesses Can Provide Less Than 36″ Of Clear Sales/Service Counter Space If Counter Is At An Accessible Height

Seyfarth Synopsis: A new Ohio law will require notice and opportunity to cure as a prerequisite for a plaintiff’s recovery of attorney’s fees in physical accessibility lawsuits.

Businesses across the country have been asking Congress to provide some relief from ADA “drive by” and “gotcha” lawsuits about physical access barriers at public accommodations facilities.  Federal efforts to amend the
Continue Reading Ohio Governor Signs Bill Requiring Plaintiffs to Provide Pre-Suit Notice for Physical Access Violations

Seyfarth Synopsis: Google Maps now provides information on accessibility, but the information may not be particularly reliable or useful to gauge accessibility.

The Google Maps app now indicates if a location is “accessible” to wheelchair users.  Here’s how it works: users can now click on various storefronts and other public places within the mobile app, and it will say whether
Continue Reading Google Maps App Now Tells Users If Locations Are Accessible, But Is It Accurate and Reliable?

Seyfarth Synopsis:  Massachusetts recently enacted its first statewide ride-sharing law requiring companies like Uber to provide accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities.

On the heels of news that Uber and the National Federation of the Blind (“NFB”) settled their federal court lawsuit in California, which began with a fight over whether Uber is subject to Title III of the
Continue Reading Wheels For Wheelchairs: Massachusetts Mandates Accessible Ride-Sharing

Seyfarth Synopsis: In yet another effort to limit predatory ADA lawsuits, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law – effective immediately – legislation that will provide small business owners with some potential relief.

Another year, another attempt in California to reform disability access laws – which presently offer plaintiffs a $4,000 per violation bounty for suing businesses.  But this
Continue Reading Latest California ADA Lawsuit Reform Attempt: “Watered Down Solution”

Seyfarth Synopsis:  In a refreshing breath of fresh air, a federal judge holds that an intent to return as a “tester” does not give a plaintiff standing to sue under Title III of the ADA.

gavelAs we’ve reported before, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits has surged in the past few years, mostly in part due to
Continue Reading Only a Bona Fide Patron of A Business Can Bring an ADA Suit, Maryland Court Holds