This month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the H.R. 620, known as “the ADA Education and Reform Act.”
Supported by the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and AAHOA, this important legislation would make it much harder for plaintiffs to file “drive-by” lawsuits against businesses such as hotels for alleged violations of the ADA.
Thousands of hotels across the country, including hundreds in Texas, have been singled out by attorneys looking for a profit by filing suits or demand letters accusing a property of being out of compliance with the ADA.
Many times, these infractions are minor, easily correctable, or nonexistent, yet hotels received letters from attorneys demanding an immediate settlement.
Alarmingly, a recent study conducted by Seyfarth Shaw found that ADA lawsuits against places of public accommodation increased by 16 percent in 2017, and 37 percent in 2016. In response to our efforts on this issue, Congressman Ted Poe of Texas and Congressman Scott Peters of California introduced H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
Similar to a Texas state law passed in 2017 that was supported by the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, the ADA Education and Reform Act would help put a stop to unfounded and predatory lawsuits.
This bipartisan legislation provides a notice and cure provision, which gives businesses a defined period of time to correct a violation to the ADA before a lawsuit can proceed. This would allow businesses to spend resources on correcting a barrier to access, rather than lining the pocket of unscrupulous attorneys seeking to earn a fast settlement.
Now that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 620, the bill moves on to the U.S. Senate. We will continue to bring you updates on the progress of this important legislation, and please watch for calls to action.
Let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment below.