The fifth of five clear opportunities to improve California's accessibility lawsuit crisis . . .
. . . and they wouldn't even negotiate!
Did you know California legislators had 5 different opportunities to curb the abuse of ADA/accessibility lawsuits and declined to do anything about it?
The opportunities were:
SB 855 (Poochigian) 2005 (as introduced and amended)
SB 855 (Poochigian) 2005 (as reduced to "Intent Language")
Perhaps the most egregious of these is the most recent one-- in which on 3 May 2005, California's Senate Judiciary Committee would not even vote for the following "Intent Language":
Given that the legislators were informed that there have now been more than 12,000 disabled accessibility lawsuits filed in California in just the past few years, many of which did nothing to improve accessibility and only profited a select group of "professional plaintiffs" and the lawyers who represent them, how could our legislators refuse to take even this very minor (and almost symbolic) step to at least begin evaluating how these laws are being abused? Watch the videos below to see for yourself!
The fact that the Legislators of California's Senate Judiciary Committee would not even agree to the very general "intent language" above-- and because we know they have been informed that businesses are closing, jobs are being lost, and bankruptcies filed, because of these lawsuits-- can only mean that they are happy with the current system of "private enforcement" accessibility laws in California, and must think it is working well. But is it?
There have been over 12,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits in California to date. Despite this, only about 2% of the commercial property open to the public meets applicable access standards. We use inspectors for building codes, fire codes, health and safety and labor codes, but for some reason, a small group of legislators think it is better to use a system of private lawyers, "professional plaintiffs" and judges (few of whom have any construction experience) to create access for people with disabilities. Do they really feel that this system is efficiently bringing about access for people with disabilities, or have they just received too much money from trial lawyers (see Are Votes for Sale?)?
If it has taken 15 years and 12,000 lawsuits just to achieve 2% compliance, it will take another 195 years to reach 100% compliance, and that does not include new buildings, which though approved by building inspectors, are often immediately subject to ADA/accessibility lawsuits. Why do our legislators ask people with disabilities-- whose lives are already difficult enough-- to struggle with an inefficient system of lawsuits to achieve accessibility, when there are so many better ways? To see some of the other alternatives, you may wish to visit www.ADAreform.com.