Diogenes famously said, “What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others.” And in the wine capital of the U.S., some sneaky lawyers and their plaintiffs are finding sweet success by suing local businesses for American Disabilities Act (ADA) violations.
According to the Napa Valley Register, “Nearly two dozen businesses including flower shops, restaurants, burger joints, liquor stores and automotive shops have been served with these lawsuits, 11 of them in September, leaving the owners frustrated, angry and scrambling to do whatever they can to minimize losses.”
The story goes on to say that “most of the lawsuits, which have been filed in federal court, complain of parking lots that are out of compliance — a few of them only lacking updated signage and fresh paint — and narrow doors and aisles.”
And of course we all know that these suits have little to do with access and everything to do with that green stuff that makes the world go round.
The top 10 most common business violations, according to the California Commission on Disability Access, are:
— the existing parking spaces are not compliant
— signage in the parking lot is non-compliant
— the parking lot does not contain the minimum number of accessible parking spaces,
–routes to and from the parking lot or public right-of-way are not accessible,
–van-accessible parking is non-compliant or non-existent,
–curb ramps or entrance ramps are non-compliant or non-existent,
–heights of surfaces such as counters and tables are non-compliant,
–access aisles or path of travel within building are not accessible,
–entry doors are not accessible or are missing accessibility signage
— and bathrooms don’t meet requirements.
Dean Sperling Law helps businesses defend themselves against ADA complaints. If your company receives a letter like this, contact Dean and he’ll work to resolve your matter quickly and effectively with YOUR best interests in mind.