EXPERIENCED ADA LAWSUIT LAWYERS
We have represented clients in approximately five hundred (500) lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we have handled these cases at every stage from pre-suit resolution, through full trial on the merits of the case.
We are led by Nolan Klein, Esq. Mr. Klein has more than fifteen years of experience litigating Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits and has represented clients in hundreds of ADA lawsuits. Mr. Klein has appeared as a legal analyst on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, and with 60 Minutes on a story about ADA lawsuits. He has taught multiple classes for lawyers about ADA law issues, and is the author of the ADA Law & Lawsuits Explained guidebook.
ADA lawsuits and cases can vary widely based on several factors including the identity of the disabled claimant, the relevant disability, the alleged violation(s), the state where the case was filed, and other factors unique to each specific your case. Use the contact form on this page to discuss your specific case with us.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE ADA LAW? READ ON FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION:
WHAT IS THE ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into federal law (applicable throughout the entire United States) on July 26, 1990.
According to the text of the law itself, it was created to:
Provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; and
Provide a clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standard addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities; and
Invoke the sweep of congressional authority . . . to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.
WHAT DOES THE ADA REQUIRE?
The ADA has multiple “titles” (or sections). “Title III,” requires covered private businesses to be inclusive of the disabled.
The ADA states as a “general rule” that:
No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.
So, the law prohibits “discrimination” on the basis of “disability” by people or businesses who own, lease, or operate “places of public accommodation.”
It is therefore important to know who the ADA considers “disabled,” which businesses are defined as “places of public accommodation,” and what the ADA defines as prohibited discrimination.
WHO IS CONSIDERED DISABLED?
The term “disability” is defined broadly and includes “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of [the] individual.”
An impairment includes (but is not only limited to): an anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, a physiological disorder or condition, and a mental or psychological disorder;
Major life activities include (but are not limited to): “performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, . . . standing, lifting . . . communicating, and working.”
The definition of a disability under the ADA is very broad. However,many (if not most) private lawsuits filed to enforce the ADA against businesses involve individuals who cannot walk (wheelchair users) or who cannot see (particularly in the case of ADA website lawsuits).
WHICH BUSINESSES ARE COVERED?
The ADA covers any “places of public accommodation.” A “place of public accommodation” includes many types of private businesses including, but not limited to:
- A restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
- An inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging;
- A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;
- A laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station;
- An office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;
- A gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation.
The full list of businesses that are defined as places of public accommodation is longer than this and more comprehensive. Contact us to discuss whether a particular business is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ADA CASES THAT MAY BE FILED BY THE DISABLED AGAINST COVERED BUSINESSES?
ADA Website Lawsuits
In recent years many ADA lawsuits have been filed against businesses that conduct commerce online where their website is not accessible to the visually impaired. Blind and visually impaired internet users who are disabled under the ADA have a number of options for “reading” their computer screens and using online commerce features. The most widely accepted website technical standards for compatibility with screen reading software is Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, commonly known as WCAG 2.0. When implemented on a website, these guidelines make the website usable by individuals with visual impairments, and the guidelines have been adopted on the websites of many (if not most) major online retailers.
ADA Architectural Barrier Requirements
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that “places of public accommodation” make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, including compliance with very specific architectural requirements. The most common accommodations include installation of disabled parking spaces, restaurant seating, accessible bathrooms, ramps, and other such features needed to integrate the disabled.
The law also applies equally to landlords and tenants, making each jointly liable for ADA violations that are present on the property. Tenants may be sued even though alleged violations are on property controlled by the landlord (for example, a parking lot), and landlords may be sued for alleged violations in a tenant space (for example, inaccessible restaurant seating). As a result, the business owner, and its landlord (the property owner) are almost always sued together in these cases.
Online Reservation System Cases
Hotels must ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as people who do not need accessible rooms. These regulations require that any means by which hotels take reservations must “[i]dentify and describe accessible features in the hotels and guest rooms [. . .] in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a given hotel or guest room meets his or her accessibility needs.”
ADA Source Materials:
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