In response to the U.S. House vote to make changes to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), The American Association For Justice released a statement:
"For decades, the ADA has broken down barriers and empowered people with disabilities. But this legislation rips the teeth out of the ADA, leaving people living with disabilities without a fair path to justice when restaurants, shops, or other businesses fall short of ADA standards. It's unconscionable that the House would strip away the rights of disabled Americans and roll back nearly 30 years of progress in improving accessibility in our communities."
What is the ADA?
The ADA is a civil rights law that protects those with disabilities from discrimination in all areas open to the general public, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places open to the public (restaurants, shops, etc).
What did the House vote to change?
The ADA Education and Reform Act passed with 225 votes. According to the Washington Post, "Under the bill, those wishing to sue businesses in federal court over an ADA public-accommodations violation must first deliver a written notice to that business detailing the illegal barrier to access and then give that business 60 days to come up with a plan to address the complaints and an additional 60 days to take action."
Does this mean people with disabilities will no longer be able to take action against businesses that don't meet standards?
No. If the bill passes the Senate and is enacted, then those affected by businesses who fail to comply with the ADA would have a few extra steps to go through before being able to file a lawsuit. It's a safeguard for businesses who may not be aware that they are not meeting standards, and those who are in favor of the bill say that it also prevents lawyers from cheating the system to help them make more money.
If you believe that you have a case against a business that has purposefully discriminated against you because of a disability covered by the ADA, you should contact a Little Rock personal injury attorney immediately.
I am currently covered under the ADA. Will this affect me?
Right now, the bill has only gone through the House. There is no real way to predict how it will fair in the Senate. We'll keep everyone updated as best as possible as this issue continues to unfold.
What are your thoughts on this new bill? We want to hear what you think! Comment and share to discuss this important issue.
Cearley Law Firm is a Little Rock law firm. Bob Cearley, the founding and primary lawyer for the firm, is a Little Rock personal injury attorney with decades of experience helping clients get the settlements they deserve. If you live in the Littel Rock area and are unsure if you need a lawyer, give us a call! Your initial consultation is free, and we'll be able to assess whether or not you have a valid case.