We have joined a large coalition of stakeholders in Washington D.C. to applaud and support the introduction of H.R. 620, “The ADA Education and Reform Act.”  Recently in California we have seen several major reforms to the statewide implementation of the ADA, which are intended to increase access while reducing unnecessary lawsuits.  This legislation will hopefully mirror some of our state’s reforms.

The commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry strongly supports the intent of the ADA and its goal to ensure that all Americans have equal access and opportunities.  Business and property owners are committed to creating a safe, welcoming environment for everyone and acknowledge the significant impact the ADA has made in achieving that goal.

The letter reads, in part, “Legislation is needed to ensure that resources are focused on improving access and compliance with the law while protecting business from abusive lawsuits. Unfortunately, the ADA is being undermined by a growing “cottage industry” made up of attorneys and plaintiffs who file lawsuits against business and property owners over alleged violations.  The current system creates confusion amongst business and property owners who reasonably believed their property was ADA compliant – typically based on assurances by state and local inspectors.  Oftentimes, business owners find it is less expensive to settle the suits than to defend them, even if the property owner is compliant.   This bill will change that by requiring that business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken.”

Here’s to hoping we can reform this important law this year!

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