The Center for Disability Access is a large law firm based in San Diego. The firm is very well known for suing small businesses and property owners through the State of California for ADA violations. In fact, the Center for Disability Access is one of the top filers of ADA lawsuits in California.
The Center for Disability Access sues businesses all over California. San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Sacramento are frequent targets of these lawsuits.
Frequent Plaintiffs Used by the Center for Disability Access
The Center for Disability Access uses a variety of professional ADA plaintiffs. Some plaintiffs file more cases than others, but the lawsuits are all pretty much the same. Common litigants include:
- Scott Johnson
- Chris Langer
- Shirley Lindsay
- James Zarian
- Samuel Zarian
- Daniel Lopez
- Rafael Arroyo
- Robert Elguezabal
- Raul Uriarte-Limon
- Scott Schutza
The Center for Disability Access is one of the Most Prolific ADA Litigants in California
My office analyzed all federal ADA lawsuits filed in 2016 in California. In fact, we were able to find over 2,500 ADA access cases filed in 2016 alone.
The Center for Disability Access is responsible for over 700 ADA lawsuits in 2016. This is over 25% of the total ADA cases filed that year!
Make no mistake, the Center for Disability Access knows what they are doing. Good or bad, they have a system in place to target non-compliant businesses.
ADA lawsuits are big business for plaintiff's firms like the Center for Disability Access. Until the California Legislature takes meaningful action to reform our laws, these lawsuits will continue unabated.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Complying with the ADA is the only way to ensure that you are not sued by an ADA lawsuit mill like the Center for Disability Access.
I strongly recommend that all business and property owners obtain regular CASp inspections. Accessibility guidelines and the building codes are constantly changing. What was once considered "up to code" may no longer be the case. Even minor violations can result in your business being targeted in an ADA lawsuit.
The lack of accessible parking is probably the number one issue that results in ADA litigation. Common issues range from faded parking lines to the complete lack of accessible parking.
On the other hand, if your parking looks good, a drive-by ADA plaintiff will likely move on to someone else, thinking that the rest of the facility is in compliance. This is why I always recommend that a business owner start fixing accessibility issues on the outside first.
What to do if you are Sued by the Center for Disability Access
If you are looking at this website, you are very likely on the receiving end of an ADA lawsuit.
From my experience defending these lawsuits, I can tell you that the Center for Disability Access will be demanding two things in the lawsuit: 1) an injunction requiring you to make ADA upgrades to your business or property; and 2) money damages.
Under California law, an ADA plaintiff is able to demand a $4,000 statutory penalty for each visit they made to a non-compliant business. The number of actual ADA violations does not actually matter when calculating damages.
These lawsuits are generally filed in the United States District Court. This means that defendants are parties to a federal civil rights lawsuit. These cases are very serious.
No matter how you feel about the matter, as a business owner you must take swift action to preserve your rights.
A significant number of these ADA lawsuits end up in default judgements. This means that the defendant did not respond to the lawsuit and lost automatically. A default judgement can result in liens being placed on property and adverse credit consequences.
If you are served with an ADA lawsuit, you must take immediate action. Do not ignore the summons and complaint.
My law firm defends business owners and property owners throughout California who are sued for ADA violations. Please call us at (916) 333-2222 to schedule a consultation.