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Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA or Act), signed into law in 1990, is a Civil Rights Law requiring buildings and facilities that provide goods and services to the public must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Building construction and alterations after 1992 must comply with the ADA requirements. Buildings constructed prior to 1992 are required to make alterations to facilitate accessibility that are “readily achievable,” defined by the ADA as “easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.” California’s accessibility compliance requirements are in many cases more stringent than the Federal requirements of the ADA under Title III Regulations (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities).

Additionally, Title I of the ADA (and more recent ADA-AA of 2009) prohibits discrimination against a “qualified individual on the basis of disability” in job application, hiring, advancement, compensation, training, other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. It also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations that allow a disabled person who is otherwise qualified for a position complete his or her job. The Act prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled individuals who can perform the responsibilities of their job description. Additionally, the ADA prohibits harassment by an employer on the basis of a disability. (Title II further protects qualified individuals employed by the state or local government against discrimination based upon disability.)

From avoiding to assessing and defending ADA lawsuits, Walsworth lawyers work seamlessly with clients and outside experts to resolve clients’ cases in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. We provide counseling and representation to business owners and operators to ensure compliance with the ADA as well as state and local disability codes, and defend them in ADA lawsuits and proceedings, if a matter rises to that level.

ADA class action lawsuits are on the rise. Our team has experience defending these matters and we know how to assess the merits of the case quickly and aggressively to attack its weaknesses. Our willingness to take cases to trial, and our knowledge of the procedural issues that are specific to class actions, help us achieve the best results for our clients.

We have experience handling a variety of ADA cases with a focus on the following areas:

  • Hotel and Lodging
  • Retail and Restaurants
  • Entertainment Facilities
  • Public Transportation Terminals
  • Educational Establishments
  • Exercise and Recreational Facilities
  • Website
  • Housing Facilities
  • Public Gathering Facilities
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Banks and Financial Institutions

Representative Successes

  • Various Plaintiffs v. The Cheesecake Factory – Represented The Cheesecake Factory in various lawsuits where wheelchair-bound plaintiffs alleged inaccessibility to what they considered “preferred” dining area at the top of steps, restroom accommodations, and bar area seating, which prevented their ability to have enjoyable dining experiences.
  • Various Plaintiffs v. Various “Strip-Mall” Defendants Represented various strip-mall shop owners (nail salon, barber shop, pet store, deli) in various claims and lawsuits brought by wheelchair-bound plaintiffs who went shop to shop, then alleged accessibility violations which prevented them from being treated similar to a non-disabled customer.
  • Abram v. Casa De Fruta Corporation Represented the defendant, a restaurant owner, in San Benito County Superior Court for an action regarding negligence and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A trial verdict was entered in the client’s favor on the negligence claim with a finding of a technical violation of the ADA requiring upgrades of physical premises to ensure compliance with functionality standards.