After a number of businesses were targeted with what some have deemed to be predatory lawsuits, one senator is threatening to rein in litigation over the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a letter to California state lawmakers this month, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she’s heard from numerous business owners in the state who claim they’ve had to pay thousands to settle cases centering on minor disability access violations.
She’s blaming state law which allows those who sue over ADA violations to seek damages, something that is not explicitly permitted by the federal act.
Feinstein cites the example of 22 Redlands, Calif. businesses who were sued by the same attorney because they did not post signs near their handicapped parking spaces indicating that violators would be towed. For the failure, she says that businesses ended up paying between $5,000 and $14,000 each.
“I proudly support the ADA, and the ability it has given to people with special needs to have access to the facilities and services they require to lead healthy, productive lives,” Feinstein wrote in her letter to the state senate president, which was first reported by Law.com. “However… I am troubled by reports that these lawsuits may unfairly and unnecessarily threaten the viability of some small businesses in our state.”
Feinstein asked state lawmakers to address the issue but said that she is considering taking action at the federal level if they do not.