If your business or property is open to the public, it must meet certain accessibility standards created by federal and state law for people with disabilities. These requirements apply to a range of potential conditions which could limit accessibility, including such commonplace items as round doorknobs or faucet handles, unsecured floor mats, high customer service counters and/or doorway thresholds which are difficult to traverse. A majority of claims in these cases continue to involve parking areas.
In addition, accessibility standards may also apply to a range of non-physical issues, including, without limitation, a business’s policies and procedures, the accessibility of its website to people with visual limitations, and whether qualified service animals are allowed.
Many businesses find themselves facing lawsuits which contend that one or more applicable standards for disabled accessibility have not been met. In California, these lawsuits are even more prevalent due to money damages allowed under state law. Because many claimed that certain filers of these lawsuits exploited claims in these actions inappropriately, legislative reforms were passed in 2008, 2012 and again in 2015 to reduce the potential for misuse of these claims while still maintaining a strong incentive to make accessibility improvements.