The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in 1990, greatly increased the protection and advancement of the rights of Americans with disabilities. Because of this landmark law, accessibility has dramatically improved in buildings around the country over the past three decades. Unfortunately, some attorneys are undermining the spirit of the ADA by subverting the intent of the law for profit without improving accessibility. While there are legitimate violations, often many of these lawsuits are over technical, easily correctable accessibility violations, pressuring business owners into paying large settlements consisting principally of attorney’s fees. This defeats the spirit of the law.
BOMA believes that people with disabilities should have the same access to our members’ properties as everyone else, and the obligation to ensure that buildings are fully compliant with ADA regulations is one we take seriously. To help our members with compliance issues, we authored the ADA Compliance Guidebook. We believe that there should be safeguards built into the law to protect property owners from legal threats that do not allow them to first identify the ADA violation and then have a chance to remedy the problem before a financial settlement. This will ensure that disability access remains the primary driver of ADA lawsuits.
Support federal legislative efforts that would allow business owners an opportunity to address and correct the accessibility issue without threat of extortive demand letters.
For more information please contact:
Emily Naden, Director of Federal Affairs, BOMA International, 202-326-6326,
BOMA International ADA Lawsuit Reform One-Pager PDF.