Category Archives: ADA Lawsuits

So a Woman and a Kangaroo Walk Into a Bar

On this blog we’ve explored the laws related to service animals and how the ADA’s regulations extend their use far past traditional notions of “seeing eye dogs.” In Wisconsin (admit it, you assumed this blog post was going to have an Aussie connection), a woman is treading new territory by seeking legal recognition to use a kangaroo as a therapy animal. The woman, Diana Moyer, owns several kangaroos and also has a doctor’s note stating that one of the kangaroos—Jimmy—is a therapy animal to assist her in dealing with cancer treatment and depression. In no way would we ever mock …

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Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the company’s business is, however, the very thing at issue in a series of lawsuits brought against Uber under the ADA. In lawsuits filed in Arizona, California, and Texas, individuals and disability rights organizations have accused Uber of failing to comply with ADA requirements of offering accommodations for the disabled (including individuals who are visually and mobility impaired) in providing …

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Curb Appeal: Looks Matter When It Comes to the ADA

I’m frequently asked two questions by business owners and managers when it comes to ADA compliance and lawsuits.  The first question is, “what type of businesses get sued most often?”  The second question is, “how can I avoid becoming one of those businesses?”  Like many things, the answers to these questions can be complex and involve a lot of variables.  Certainly, for example, businesses that operate in industries that deal heavily with the public, such as retail, hospitality, and banking, are often frequent targets based on the volume of people that come to a business’s facilities to use their services.  …

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How to Avoid Your Business Becoming an ADA Target

It is certainly good to know what to do if your business is served with a lawsuit under the ADA. It is even better to know what steps you can take to help avoid your business becoming a target for these lawsuits in the first place. While there is no way to completely avoid the risk of an ADA lawsuit, taking a few simple (and in many cases low cost) steps can help reduce the risk of appearing as “low hanging fruit” for plaintiffs, plaintiff’s advocacy organizations, and the Department of Justice. Tip #1: Curb Appeal We’ve all heard stories …

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Insurance and ADA Public Accommodations Claims

Navigating common insurance issues for claims under Title III of the ADA Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses which offer goods and services to the public (i.e. “public accommodations”) take steps to ensure that their facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities.  In addition to the ADA’s general accessibility mandate, its governing regulations provide detailed requirements for businesses that range from the minimum number of accessible parking spaces to the height of mirrors and toilets in restrooms.  The failure to comply with these guidelines can lead to lawsuits in federal court.  If you follow …

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Where to Start When Auditing Your Business’s ADA Compliance

As you know if you are a frequent reader of this blog, many states have seen spikes in the number of federal lawsuits filed under the ADA for alleged violations of accessibility requirements. Individual plaintiffs have filed upwards of one hundred lawsuits in some states. Class actions are also on the rise. What can you do to protect your business from ADA lawsuits and determine if you are a likely target? If a complete audit of the your ADA compliance and renovation of non-complying features is not realistic or readily achievable, evaluating the hot spots which are the most frequent …

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Federal Appeals Court Reinstates ADA Lawsuit Against Disney Over Segway Use

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit against Walt Disney World Company that alleges the company violated the ADA by refusing to allow a theme park patron to use a “Segway.” The Plaintiff, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, claims that Disney unfairly discriminated against her when the company denied her request to use her Segway at Disneyland. The park’s policies allow patrons to use wheelchairs and motorized scooters, but prohibit two wheeled vehicles, which would include Segways. The California district court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claim finding that the use of a Segway was not a necessary accommodation …

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ADA Lawsuits Against Businesses Are On The Rise

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or “ADA” is best known for its prohibitions against disability discriminations in employment and the requirement that employers provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. Title III of this federal statute, however, requires businesses that serve the public to ensure that their facilities are accessible to the disabled. This, in turn, requires compliance with the “ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Business and Facilities” or ADAAG. The ADAAG provides detailed compliance requirements for facilities that range from the proper height of restroom mirrors to the maximum slope for parking lots and sidewalks. My experience has been that plaintiffs …

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