Business Owners Fear “Drive-by” ADA Lawsuits
En Español.The Mission Merchants' agenda lists meeting with mayoral candidate Joanna Rees, and talks of making Valencia Street the “culinary fast lane of the West Coast.” However, the business owners present at the Tuesday meeting only want to talk about one thing: an increasing number of lawsuits for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act by what they call “serial litigators.” “There’s a group of predatory lawyers that use the law to their advantage and target small businesses, especially restaurants owned by minorities,” says Regina Dick-Endrizzi, executive director of the city’s Small Business Commission. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law enacted in 1990. It prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires that buildings be accessible to people with disabilities. A revised version of the law took effect in March 2011. A series of complaints hit Mission Street businesses six or seven months ago, ...
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