Access Lawsuit Abuse update 9-4-12
Some good news... SB 1186 has made it through our legislature and is headed for Gov Brown's signature. Negotiations went back and forth, if you recall it was not long ago that I felt 1186 had lost all "teeth". Fortunately, keeping in constant communication with Steinberg and Dutton (the authors of the Bill), we were able to keep pressure on to get something accomplished. I thank all of you that stayed involved... it does mean something and this is an example of how, together, we can make a difference.
While we all knew this would be about taking steps, which this bill certainly does, we will need to stay alert for opportunities to provide further protections for all citizens... Here is a bullet list of what this Bill does.
-The new legislation would also allow small businesses with 25 or fewer employees who haven’t received a CASp inspection 30 days to fix the violation. Even in the case of a large project, there will be ways to deal with violations without the trial attorney profiting.
-SB 1186 also bans demand-for-money letters by attorneys whose only interest is to “shake down” a business owner without ensuring ADA compliance.
-Statutory damages have been reduced.. still not enough, however a step.
- It also prevents “stacking” of multiple claims to increase monetary damages, a practice used by some to intimidate small business owners to simply "pay up".. cases of 30 violations in 30 days, or less, have been recorded.
Again, this Bill still does not go far enough to practicality, however in our legislative environment in California... taking these steps should be considered a good thing... but we do need to do more. The big lesson that I think should be noted here is that we can make a difference... it was, in part, our urging that got Feinstein to contact Steinberg... which led to this Bill. Thank you....