As reported in the Lincoln News Messenger, small business owners in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville have circled their wagons after receiving letters from a personal injury lawyer demanding that they come into compliance with the American with Disability Act (ADA).
According to local car dealer Terry Degmetich, he was one of some 12 dealers targeted on his street by a personal injury lawyer specializing in ADA lawsuits. Unfortunately, a number of his neighboring business owners did not take the threat seriously and they paid the ultimate price.
Not taking any chances, some car dealers hired an ADA consultant to keep them out of court. To inspect their property, the consultant charged anywhere from $1,250 to $2,500, not including the cost of compliance. Remarkably, even with the benefit of hiring an expert in ADA compliance, the local newspaper reports the car dealers’ ADA consultant saying, “No building, no matter how much money you throw into it, will be compliant.”
California needs to reform ADA law so that small business owners can simply make their properties more accessible to valued customers, without the risk of future litigation. Until the small business community demands reforms from the State Legislature, shakedowns will simply be the cost of doing business in a state that is not business friendly. The personal injury bar has certainly made its voice heard through its campaign contributions. To fight back, click here.