Legislation Curbing Disability Accessibility Lawsuit Abuse Passes Ohio House

Disability accessibility laws, both state and federal, were enacted to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, provide access to public accommodations and to provide individuals with remedies for violations of the law. However, these laws are often complex and technical with no comprehensive administrative oversight. Therefore, enforcement is primarily through litigation.

Currently, when a lawsuit is filed for an accessibility violation, successful plaintiffs are entitled only to injunctive relief, meaning the problem or violation is remedied and their attorney’s fees. This gives attorneys, often seeking settlement, an incentive to file lawsuits independent of how quickly the violations are fixed. This has resulted in a cottage industry of accessibility lawsuits that not only saddle employers with unfair litigation and settlement costs but also prevent the access problems at issue from being corrected in a timely manner.

HB 271 offers a meaningful solution to this very serious problem. The bill proposes a notification process as a prerequisite to being able to recover attorneys’ fees in cases under state accessibility law. Once the notice is received, the business has 15 business days to respond and is provided 60 days to remedy the violation. The bill also allows for an additional 60-day extension, for a total of 120 days, upon reasonable explanation of why the improvement will take longer than the original 60-day allotment.

Today, a business may not even know of a violation until a lawsuit is filed. The process laid out in this legislation would disincentivize lawsuits in favor of both sides coming together to reach timely and workable solutions, facilitating better compliance. Most businesses do not intentionally violate accessibility laws but are simply unclear about their obligations. This bill gives them a greater chance of addressing the alleged violation prior to going to court and will help lower legal costs for businesses that simply want to improve access. However, it would not close the door to litigation if the violation is disputed or if the individual chooses to forgo attorneys’ fees.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, that would impose similar requirements at the federal level. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce strongly supports HB 271, and federal reforms, because we believe this legislation reasonably balances the interests of ensuring access for individuals with disabilities and preventing lawsuit abuse plaguing businesses. Yesterday, HB 271 passed the Ohio House unanimously and now will move on to the Senate for further consideration.

14 thoughts on “Legislation Curbing Disability Accessibility Lawsuit Abuse Passes Ohio House

  1. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  2. I’d must seek advice from you here. Which is not something Which i do! I love reading an article which will make people feel. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  3. Now human eye all of our surroundings is usually a major problem. The modern day entire world society is unquestionably mounting therefore quickly the truth that group is rather populated. We’re also depleting all of our all-natural options additionally together polluting our natural environment through the use of dangerous toxic compounds. If maybe the majority of people keep on on to start this, each day residing we know of couldn’t are living.

  4. With our monetary climate just how in which seriously is, To begin with . to arrange the basics of declaring bankruptcy under lack of employment perks. Options approach would be to make it clear how our lack of employment setup effective, precisely what the ordinary means accepting and rejecting conditions, then it include myths received from my own , unbiassed practical experience of what great procedures as well as the usual issues are having declaring bankruptcy under joblessness importance.

  5. My husband and i ended up being happy that Emmanuel managed to carry out his investigation because of the ideas he grabbed from your own blog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply choose to be giving away strategies which often men and women could have been selling. We really acknowledge we’ve got you to appreciate for this. The most important explanations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the friendships you will help instill – it’s got everything fantastic, and it is helping our son and us understand the subject matter is excellent, and that’s tremendously pressing. Thanks for the whole thing!

  6. I am frequently to blogging and i also truly appreciate your posts. Your content has really peaks my interest. I am about to bookmark your web site and keep checking for brand spanking new details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *