Washington, D.C. – October 21, 2015 – Twenty five years after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law, AH&LA today endorsed the “The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015,” H.R. 3765, introduced by Representative Ted Poe (TX-2). This legislation builds on the historic progress made by the ADA and restores the integrity of the law by addressing the unseemly practice of “drive-by” lawsuits. The bill reforms Title III of the ADA, which covers private businesses open to the public, by specifying clear, unambiguous rules for identifying and correcting ADA access violations before allowing litigation or a drawn-out settlement process. If a business fails to correct an identified violation following a notice and a defined period of time, then the right for seeking legal recourse still applies under the ADA.
“One of the hotel industry’s top priorities is to make sure every guest can enjoy unfettered access to our hotels’ facilities, which is one of the many reasons we strongly support the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said AH&LA’s senior vice president of Government Affairs Vanessa Sinders. “Unfortunately, underhanded attorneys seeking personal financial gain are exploiting Title III of the ADA with no resulting benefits for the disability community. Regrettably, thousands of hotels are getting caught in the crossfire and being sued or threatened by lawsuits, the majority of which are unfounded. With the number of Title III lawsuits growing by more than 63 percent in just one year, it is past time to rectify this oversight. AH&LA applauds the introduction of this commonsense legislation designed to ensure that businesses comply with the ADA and provide ADA mandated access while removing incentives for ADA lawsuit abuse.