Opinion: Bill to curb ‘drive-by’ ADA lawsuits deserves support

Volunteers clean a wheelchair at a charity event in East Los Angeles in 2006.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I agree that predatory litigation has been inflicted on businesses nationwide over the Americans With Disabilities Act. While California’s share of the ADA lawsuits across the U.S. has dropped to about 36%, it is still significant because we only have 12% of the population. Still, California’s share dropped only because filings in several other states have increased. (“Is your company’s website accessible to the disabled? You’d better hope so,” Opinion, June 11)

There were two reforms in 2016 that some thought would help improve the problem of ADA access lawsuits, but federal courts in California (where state law reforms have insignificant effect) saw a 45% increase in ADA lawsuits filed in 2016 compared to 2015.

A common-sense fix would be HR 620, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), which would reduce the number of “drive-by” lawsuits because plaintiffs would be required to give business owners a written notice of the violation. After that, the owners would have 120 days to fix the problem.


The bill has broad bipartisan support, including backing by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), and it is endorsed by California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Robert Donin, Los Angeles

The writer is a former board member of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

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