WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) released the following statement following House passage of H.R. 620, the bipartisan ADA Education and Reform Act. This legislation curbs frivolous lawsuits filed to abuse the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) for monetary gain.
H.R. 620 creates a notice and cure provision, giving a business time to cure a violation before litigation is initiated. If the business does not take action within a specified, limited timeframe (120 days), the individual can continue pursuing legal action. H.R. 620 seeks to resolve violations quicker than a lawsuit allows and does not infringe upon the rights of the disabled.
Under current law, serial plaintiffs shake down business owners who are forced to either settle or go to court. In many cases, the plaintiffs issue demand letters that threaten to bring a lawsuit for an ADA violation unless the business pays them to drop the lawsuit. These letters frequently fail to inform the business owner exactly what the alleged violation is. The business often chooses to pay the ransom and put the potential lawsuit behind them. Small “Mom and Pop” business simply cannot afford costly attorneys, so they settle. This leaves the alleged violation unfixed and the ADA abused.
“The Americans with Disability Act is a long-standing law that was intended to make business more accessible to the disabled,” said Congressman Poe. “This common-sense legislation simply provides a notice and cure period, allowing businesses the opportunity to understand and fix an alleged violation. If a violation is not fixed within 120 days, a plaintiff retains their right to sue. This legislation restores the purpose of the ADA: to provide access and accommodation to disabled Americans, not to fatten the wallets of unscrupulous attorneys. I urge the Senate to quickly take up this legislation and put an end to unscrupulous attorney’s abuse of the ADA.”
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