ADA Lawsuits - Legal Extortion?
American with Disability lawsuits are on the rise in South Florida. If your business has been sued for violating the ADA you might recognize one the name Raymond Douglas Hennagir, Howard Cohan, or Andres Gomez.
The main issue that property owners have with ADA lawsuits is that the law does not require the plaintiff to warn the property owner prior to heading to court. After the lawsuit is filed, and served, the issue is normally resolved with the property owner promising to correct any deficiencies and then paying the plaintiff's attorney's fees.
The attorney's fees seem to be driving the "no notice" prior to filing the lawsuit;no lawsuit, no attorney's fees. Additionally, many property owners contend that the plaintiff must have some other reason, other than their disability, for filing so many lawsuits and often wonder if the plaintiffs are receiving a share of the fees collected. The Florida Bar forbids attorneys from sharing fees with non-attorneys, but the property owners are not so sure everyone is following the rules.
Even though many cases seem to be non-defensible, "the bathroom mirror was placed on the wall at the wrong height," there are many ways to limit the amount of disruption to the business (repairs take time and cost money) and the also limit the amount of attorney's fees that the plaintiff's attorney's may try to claim. Additionally, there may be indemnification or contribution by the landlord if you rent the property.
If your establishment is sued for a violation of the ADA, contact Kuvin Law and discuss your options so you can make informed decisions.