Many of us are aware of the story of the Troll under the Bridge. This story portrays a Troll that lives under a bridge and requires a toll from all who want to use the bridge. This classic fable carries with it some painful truths for those who want to conduct a business and come into contact with an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) lawsuit.
Just like the troll under the bridge, there are individuals and groups who demand a toll to do business: an ADA lawsuit. These tolls come in the form of cookie-cutter lawsuits filed in the thousands across the country alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal law designed to protect disabled individuals from discrimination based on accessibility to a business. The LA Times reports that almost 5,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in the first six months of 2018 and projected 10,000 total for the year. The evidence suggests that the number will be larger in 2019 and 2020. In an effort to make businesses equally accessible to all individuals regardless of disability, this Act has unfortunately also created the opportunity for individuals to take advantage of businesses by filing trivial ADA lawsuits in the thousands—many against hotel properties.
This article will discuss the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the three main areas of troll litigation under the ADA, how these troll litigators typically operate, and what companies can do to minimize the likelihood of being caught in one of these lawsuits.
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