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Letters: California Businesses are Targets for ADA Lawsuit Abuse

 

March 22, 2021

California is a hub for excessive amounts of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits filed. It’s a true shame to see a law like the ADA – which was enacted for the noble purpose of ensuring access for the disabled to public accommodations – turn into the lawsuit-pumping machine it is today.

California’s ADA laws allow businesses to be sued over any minor or technical infraction that does nothing to impede accessibility. For example, if a recycling bin sits too close to the doorway, this is grounds for a lawsuit – a lawsuit that could easily shut a business down for good.

Further, in California, lawyers are being financially incentivized to bring these sorts of suits against our businesses, as our state offers much higher fines than other states’ ADA laws, plus attorneys’ fees. Businesses aren’t even given the opportunity to fix issues before having to pay hefty settlements to the lawyers who targeted us.

My family and I own a chain of restaurants here in LA County. Through our businesses, we have lived the American dream—but all of that became threatened when we were targeted by a frivolous ADA lawsuit last year.

I am frustrated by our lawmakers’ failure to recognize the damage that their inaction has done to our state’s businesses and to address the problems with California’s ADA laws.

As we all recover from COVID-19 and evaluate ways to support struggling small businesses in our community, I encourage our state lawmakers to take action to curb ADA lawsuit abuse.

Edward Medina, Owner of the Ramona’s Mexican Food Chain

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