Tuesday, May 09, 2006

If You Comply, The Lawsuit Won't Fly . . .

This Press-Telegram editorial basically tells us that some lawyers ‘abuse’ the ADA by filing mass produced lawsuits, which they claim are ‘boilerplate’ lawsuits, meaning that they are virtually identical to each other. In the editorial they praise a group titled, 'Lawyer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse’, located in San Diego, which fights such ‘abuse’ of the ADA.

I’ll offer up some praise for Lawyer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse as well. When I visited their website, I found a multitude of resources for business owners. Apparently, and I know this is going to sounds crazy, but it you comply with the law, you’ll protect yourself against unwarranted lawsuits.

Here’s what you’ll find at Layer’s Against Lawsuit Abuse:

  1. View a pictorial guide "The ADA Top 40" which shows the most common issues on properties which lead to ADA/access lawsuits. Many of these items cost less than $100 to resolve.
  2. View our article "Some Inexpensive Ways to Reduce Your Risk of ADA/access lawsuits." We believe the average small business can reduce the risk of these lawsuits by 90% or more by spending less than $1,000, so what are you waiting for? Well, this rose a bit of a brow from me, as they instruct businesses might want to consider purchasing a video camera to deter lawsuits from people. Another idea, which they suggest, the better idea, is to hire a qualified access specialist, and bring the business into compliance with the law.
  3. Download an ISA symbol (International Symbol of Accessibility) you can email to a Kinko's or other print shop and have them print a 36" x 36" template you can cut out and paint as part of your disabled parking area.
  4. View our article "Ten Questions to Ask Any Prospective Lawyer".
  5. View a simple explanation of why your property is probably not "grandfathered" or otherwise exempt from compliance with access laws for the disabled. This is a popular misconception, and many government officials and building inspectors have incorrectly stated that the "grandfathering" which applies to building codes also applies to these civil rights claims.
  6. View our article "Who's Responsible for ADA Complinace-- Landlords or Tenants?" which has surprising information many landlords, tenants and attorneys have misunderstood about the unique issues of access lawsuits and renovations on commercial property.
  7. View our article "The Top 10 Mistakes Which Lead to Lawsuits".

I guess these tools exist because despite what some might consider the ‘uncomfortable’ nature of how the lawsuits are sometimes filed, the lawsuits do have merit. But, as the website tells us, there are some easy ways to fix the problems for not a lot of cost.

Like I said yesterday . . . Education . . . and a willingness to comply with the law.

Kosher Ham

PS - Oh yeah . . . and civil rights and all that.

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