FEB 2012 – ADA bill will soon be in front of Senate Judiciary Committee
Senator Dutton’sADA“Fix it” bill, sponsored by the Redlands Chamber of Commerce, will soon be in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee a critical time that will either allow the bill to move forward or have it killed once again.
The Redlands Chamber has taken an aggressive role in notifying chambers up and down the state of the significance of the bill and pleading with members of those chambers to contact the Committee Senators to urge them to pass the bill to the floor.
As the lead agency the chamber has heard from a number of businesses from San Francisco to San Diego, Auborn to Arcadia, Big Bear to Brea and many more cities and towns where business have been attacked by ill intended attorneys capitalizing on loop holes in the ADA laws.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Chapters 11A and 11B of the California Building Code are landmark documents intended to allow people access to more places than ever before and provide an increased independency in everyday life.
For more than 10 years a handful of attorneys and individuals have found a way to make an easy profit under the guise of protecting the rights of the disabled. This is a nationwide epidemic that has taken on steam in the past year. An attorney will find a business with one or more deviations from the regulations, and file suit on behalf of a plaintiff for damages. These deviations can be something as simple as a sign mounted at the wrong height. In some cases the plaintiff never sees the property in question. The strategy is based on the fact that it is usually less expensive to pay a negotiated settlement than to defend the charge.
- The average settlement is now up to $4,500 dollars and is still on the rise.
- Over the years this practice has resulted in millions of dollars for attorney fees inCaliforniaalone.
- Small business who do not have the resources to defend themselves are the targets. Some have closed their doors as a result.
- Multiple visits to a property by a plaintiff can result in multiple claims.
The Redlands Chamber needs YOUR HELP …. As soon as the bill has been introduced an effort to flood the Judiciary Committee with pressure to move the bill forward will be launched. Your letters, emails and phone calls to those Senators will be essential to make that happen. When you see the ALERT email from the Chamber requesting action please take a minute to send the sample letter that will be attached, make the phone call and send the email. Please be a part of change in the State ofCalifornia.