Marty Orlick, Chair of JMBM's ADA Compliance & Defense Group, was recently interviewed by ABC7 for a news report regarding the impact of serial ADA litigants on small businesses. The segment focused on a group of businesses in Santa Paula, California, who have been hit with lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The significant financial penalties imposed by these lawsuits threaten to close already struggling stores and restaurants.

During the segment, Marty discussed the California Unruh Civil Rights Act which requires businesses and public accommodations to provide equal access to their services and facilities. He explained that the Unruh Act “allows a plaintiff to recover $4,000 per occurrence every time they went to a particular business, or every time they thought of going but they realize there were barriers and they couldn't get served.” The Unruh Act is often abused by serial plaintiffs who file hundreds of lawsuits every year, each claiming thousands of dollars in statutory damages.

These serial lawsuits can be incredibly damaging for businesses and are the antithesis of genuine legal action by advocates trying to make their communities more accessible.

You can watch the full ABC7 news report here.

If you are a business dealing with a similar lawsuit, please get in touch. JMBM's Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance and Defense team has helped hundreds of business owners and operators nationwide to achieve enterprise-wide compliance with the ADA as well as state and local disability codes, and defends them in ADA lawsuits and Department of Justice proceedings. With one of the most active ADA defense practices in the country, we have defended more than 1,000 ADA and related accessibility claims for clients, ranging from single-property family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies with extensive real estate portfolios across the nation.

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