Last fall, a bill supported by the California Business Properties Association, or CPBA was signed by California's governor. This bill, Senate Bill 1186, added several new additions to the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. These additions stated that attorneys representing disabled plaintiffs must supply a written list of complaints made against the defendant in regards to ADA violations.
It also states that attorneys may not ask for money in court. The law now considers multiple ADA violations encountered on the same day to be counted as one violation. The law also allows flexibility in the way landowners are fined. For example, if a business has been inspected under the CASp program and receives a complaint, they have 60 to make repairs. If they do so in a timely manner or are a rather small business, they can have their fines greatly reduced.
Finally, business owners are eligible to request a 90-day stay of any ADA lawsuit and an evaluation conference with the court in order to determine the legitimacy of the lawsuit.
It also added a new section to the Civil Code that says property owners should have their property inspected by a Certified Access Specialist and modified to meet all California construction standards when leasing out the property to a tenant. This must be indicated in the leasing agreement if a property owner wants to receive the leniency and benefits offered with the new law. This inspection would cover the building and the land area being leased, which may include some common areas of the shopping center or business park. Although consequences are not stated, the refusal to meet these Disabled access standards leads to landowner liability.
In Short, property owners and managers are now encouraged to be certified by a Certified Access Specialist. If they are, the laws surrounding lawsuits become more lenient and subjective, a provision that it seems will make life easier for land owners.
Source: Gary Glick and Matt Seeberger of Cox, Castle and Nicholson LLP
When it comes to the ADA and construction related laws, Empire Parking Lot Services strives to stay current and keep their customers informed. You can count on us for reliable service and an affordable price for all disabled parking related repairs and installments.