Oooh this one gets under my skin. The Wall Street Journal this week reported that disability lawsuits against small businesses has increased by 55% from last year alone (see http://online.wsj.com/articles/disabled-access-new-legal-push-1413411545?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f).
Much of the increase has to do with a federal courts recent ruling that disabled persons do not have to be clients or patrons of a facility in order to file a lawsuit over improper conditions, but they can enter a premise solely as a “tester” to ensure that everything is correctly adequate.
According to the article :
Most business owners say they want to provide accessibility options for disabled customers. But once barriers to access are identified, many say the legal process of defending themselves from lawsuits is too onerous, according to Adam Saravay, a partner at McCarter & English in New Jersey. Under the current law, businesses aren’t given a “grace period” to fix accessibility issues, once a lawsuit is filed, he adds.
“The biggest complaint I get from my small-business clients is that the first they hear about a compliance issue is when they’re being sued,” said Mr. Saravay.
In the end, most of these lawsuits end up being settled outside of court, still leaving you owing tens of thousands of dollars in settlement and legal fees.
Doing what is right, and keeping up to code is one thing – being taken advantage of is another. If you, as a business owner, want to know what you can do to avoid lining the pockets of these litigation sharks give Legally Mine a call at 800-375-2453 x 106 or email us at email@example.com