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How to Comply with Disability Access Laws and Avoid Lawsuits

How to Comply with Disability Access Laws and Avoid Lawsuits

Avoiding Disability Access Lawsuits Some Legislative Relief ■ Senate Bill 1608 » Property Owners and Tenants □ Applies to properties that have been certified compliant by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) □ Expedites process for litigating alleged violations of accessibility standards for businesses □ Allows “qualified defendant” to apply for a 90-day stay and an early evaluation conference □ Written notice to owners of each accessibility issue in a complaint or demand for money damages □ Election not to hire a CASp inadmissible to prove lack of intent to comply with law December 5, 2011 [ GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP ▪ 5 ]

Avoiding Disability Access Lawsuits Some Legislative Relief ■ Senate Bill 1608 » Property Owners and Tenants □ Statutory damages available only if violations denied plaintiff full and equal access (i.e., personally encountered or deterred from access) □ “Denial of full and equal access” = plaintiff experienced “difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment because of the violation” □ Eliminates damages calculation on a “per violation” basis » Exception: Multi-Service facilities (e.g., hotel guest rooms, spa, restaurant, and golf course) » Concerns □ CASp Report Includes Assessment of “Readily Achievable” Barrier Removal » Legal Issue; Requires Review of Financial Records □ CASp Report Provided to Plaintiff and Filed Under Seal » Did you follow the recommendations in the report? □ Application in federal court? December 5, 2011 [ GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP ▪ 6 ]

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