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Issue Background

ADA Accessibility Lawsuits

RIMS Supports H.R. 4099 - The ACCESS (ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services) Act

Over the years RIMS members been subject to "drive-by" lawsuits, where the storeowners alleged the people who sued weren't customers but individuals who stopped by small businesses with the intent of finding something to sue over, saw violations and sued, the report observed.

To curb these suits the RIMS supports the ACCESS Act (H.R. 4099) introduced by Congressman Calvert (R-CA). If enacted, the legislation would amend Title III of the ADA, which prohibits public accommodations—hotels, restaurants, theaters, private schools, private day care centers and health care providers—from discriminating against disabled customers or other individuals. It would allow for businesses to fix the problem 

Notice Requirements

The bill would require individuals who think the business is inaccessible to people with disabilities to write the owner before filing a lawsuit. The notice must specify:

  • The address of the property.
  • The specific ADA sections alleged to have been violated.
  • Whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier was made.
  • Whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.

The owner then would have 60 days to respond with a description of how the barrier would be removed. The owner next would have 120 more days to make "substantial progress" on removing the barrier.