Finally: California moves to curtail ADA shakedowns

by Walter Olson on September 6, 2012

AP: “SB1186 by Democratic Senate leader Darrell Steinberg and Republican Sen. Bob Dutton would ban so-called ‘demand letters’ in which lawyers threaten to sue over a violation unless a business pays a set amount. It also would require attorneys to give businesses notice before filing a lawsuit.” Sacramento Bee: “A key element of SB 1186 is that potential damages for disability access violations would drop from a minimum of $4,000 to much less, $2,000 in some cases, $1,000 in others, if the defendant corrected violations very quickly.” The damages would still remain higher than are available in most states, however, and “one-way” attorney fee shifts would remain available. The bill would also restrict “stacking” of multiple damage demands based on repeat visits to premises before the suit is heard. More: The Recorder.

We’ve been covering the disgrace of California access litigation for years and years. Because large sums will still be recoverable under the new rules, I expect the industry of complaint-filing will continue in some form, even if it becomes somewhat less lucrative.

{ 1 comment }

1 DensityDuck 09.06.12 at 5:01 pm

Section 55.4 of the proposed bill pretty much closes down the whole “ADA filing mill” industry. People can still file nuisance lawsuits, but business owners now have 30 days to respond to the required notice and 90 days to fix the problem before a lawsuit can be brought.

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