ADA Defense Lawyer
ADA Defense Attorney
Nehora Law Firm represents businesses that have been sued for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA violation claims are often asserted against businesses such as hotels, residential complex owners and other businesses that are generally open to the public. By aggressively defending against ADA claims, we assist clients with claims and ADA lawsuits such as:
- Claims that a publicly accessible parking lot or building fail to comply with the ADA
- Claims that iOS or Android Apps are not ADA compliant and not properly accessible
- Claims that internet websites violate the ADA or are otherwise not accessible (e.g. the failure to include a website accessibility statement)
- Claims involving the failure to make “reasonable accommodations” as well as claims involving failing to timely respond to requests for reasonable accommodations
ADA claims and lawsuits often involve a general contracting components, such as where a building or its surrounding area do not comply with the ADA, often necessitating remediation with the aid of an ADA inspector and licensed general contractor. An inspector or a Certified Access Specialist (CASP) aids in detecting and investigating compliance issues, while general contractors and other construction related experts help by making the necessary repairs to bring a building or surrounding area into ADA compliance, for instance.
A recent trend in California, as well as other states, involves the widespread filing of ADA claims in District Court against businesses due to deficient or inaccessible websites and Mobile Apps. The California ADA lawsuits involving websites that violate the ADA are typically based on (i) Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12181 et seq.) and (ii) Violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code Section 51 et seq.)
Examples of ADA website violation claims and ADA Mobile App Violation Claims include:
- A visually impaired person who requires screen-reading software to read a business’s website using his computer and a business’s failure to properly design and maintain its website to be fully accessible to a visually impaired person.
- The denial of equal access to a mobile application (mobile app) to visually impaired individuals as a result of a business’s failure to properly design and maintain its Mobile App to be fully accessible to a visually impaired person
Why Federal District Court?
In California, Federal or District Courts typically have jurisdiction over ADA claims based on 28 U.S.C. Section 1331, U.S.C. Section 128188 and Title III of the ADA.
What Standards Apply to ADA Website Violation Claims?
W3C published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0) outlines guidelines for making a website accessible to those who are visually impaired. Additionally, Apple issued iOS accessibility-related guidelines which pertain to Apple’s iPhones. Apple’s guidelines help developers of mobile applications make their mobile apps accessible to visually impaired or blind individuals, among others.
Other Examples of ADA Website Violations Involve a Failure to Include:
- Resizing of text without the loss of functionality
- Ability to extend a time limit where the content enforces a time limit
- Web page titles that describe the purpose
- Ability to determine the purpose of a link from the link text
- Text for scripts
- Accessible and compliant forms
- Communicating information regarding content beyond visual presentation alone
- Text equivalent for non-text elements
- Title frames with text for navigation and identification
Our disability act defense lawyers can help you if you have been sued for violating the ADA. Contact an ADA defense attorney today.
Contact us today to obtain a free legal consultation from an ADA lawyer. Our attorneys handle the following ADA-related claims and cases:
- Disabilities law and claims
- ADA cases pertaining to employment, accommodations, education, school districts and business
- Disability rights law, cases involving the disabilities act, housing act, disability insurance and District Court cases involving ADA lawsuits
- Advertising and relay services
- Americans with Disabilities
- State law and discrimination
General Information About the Act:
The Act was enacted in approximately 1986 when the National Council on Disability prepared the initial iteration of the Act (then bill). The finalized version of the bill, which eventually became the Act, was signed by the United States President in 1990 and was subsequently amended in 2008. The changes made by way of the later amendment became effective January 1, 2009. The amendment’s key additions included an expansion of the ADA’s definition of “disability” and “major life activities”. The Act was initially prepared by Senator Tom Harkin prior to being signed into law by the President.
The Act has various Titles which generally pertain to different entities, as follows:
Title I pertains to employment and prohibits discrimination against an individual with a disability. Examples of cases that trigger Title I include an employer’s hiring practices, the firing of employees, the job application process, as well as the conditions of an individual’s employment with their employer. Examples of discrimination that are prohibited under Title I include firing an employee as a result of their disability, failing to hire a prospective employee as a result of their disability and failing to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee who requires special needs or equipment or supplies that would otherwise allow the employee to perform his or her job duties. There are limitations on the extent of the accommodations that are required such that an employer will not need to provide a reasonable accommodation that would pose an undue hardship to the employer.
Title II pertains to public entities and generally prohibits discrimination by public entities. The pertinent requirements apply to things like physical access. Title II also pertains to public transportation that is offered by public entities. This portion of the Act also extends to places of public accommodation, which includes many places of lodging, education, dining and the like, as well as stores. The ADA also governs the ability of a disabled person to utilize a service animal. Businesses are permitted to verify that an animal is a service animal by asking, as well as by inquiring into the tasks the service animal is equipped to perform for a disabled person. However, businesses are prohibited from asking a disabled person to direct their service animal to perform whatever task the service animal is equipped or trained to perform. Furthermore, businesses are not permitted to ask a disabled person with a service animal what his or her disabilities are.
Title IV of the Act applies to telecommunications and telecommunications companies. Title IV of the Act requires that companies provide disabled persons with accessibility to services, such as those who have hearing impairment.
The ADA also governs the use of signage and generally provides that:
- The requisite use of one of four symbols corresponding with accessibility, including the commonly seen wheelchair sign.
- The placement of ADA signs that identify rooms such that they be placed adjacent to the door, for example.
- The prohibition on extended typefaces and condensed typefaces, as well as restrictions on signage letter sizing and styling, in order to ensure clarity and visibility and accessibility.
- High contrast of signage text when compared to the text and the signage background. The particular colors used are generally less important than the heightened contrast.
- Restrictions on signage glare and signage reflection, in many instances.
The American National Standards Institute or ANSI is a committee that is responsible for developing the criteria used by the ADA for ADA-compliant signage. The ANSI works with the oversight of the development of standards that are used by the government, companies and consumers. While the ANSI oversees the development of standards, it does not itself necessarily develop the standards. The ANSI performs its functions largely by accreditation, which denotes that a particular procedure used by an organization meets the ANSI’s requirements – which consist of “openness, balance, consensus and due process.”
Although the ANSI is an American committee, the aANSI does espouse the use of U.S. approved standards by other countries and therefore the ANSI has an international presence. For example, the ANSI represents the U.S. in the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
Although there are numerous important ADA lawsuits/cases, a few of the most prominent and well-known cases include:
- National Federation of the Blind v. Target: A lawsuit was filed against Target Corporation because the company’s web development team did not design a website that would allow persons with vision impairment to utilize the website.
- Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett: The Court sought to addresss the question of whetehr the ADA, specifically Title I, was unconstitutional for permitting citizens to sue states for monetary relief.
- Bates v. UPS: The lawsuit was a class action instituted on behalf of those with hearing impairment on the basis of discrimination by virtue of their disability.
- Barden v. Sacramento: The Plaintiff alleged that the City breached its obligations under the ADA. Specifically, the Plaintiff suggested that sidewalks did not comply with the ADA’s requirements during construction to the City’s streets.
- Olmstead v. L.C.: A seminal case involving Title II. The Court decided that mental illness constitutes a disability and that the protections provided by the ADA extend to persons who suffer from mental illness.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America v. Ellerbe: This ADA lawsuit involved the design of a stadium that did not provide for adequate wheelchair accessibility.
- Toyota v. Williams: The Court addressed the definition of “substantially impairs” which is a phrase that is utilized extensively under the ADA.
- Tennessee v. Lane: The Court found that Congress lacked the necessary evidence that disabiled people were denied fundamental rights that are protected by the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Court also found that Congress did not have enforcement power under Section 5 of the 14th