WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) announced support for the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 620, which was favorably reported by the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation addresses an unintended consequence of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has resulted in a surge nationally in “drive-by lawsuits”, by creating a pause in litigation to allow businesses the opportunity to correct alleged barriers to access.
“ICSC wants to thank the Committee for its commitment to ensuring that the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act continues to protect disabled people from discrimination in their everyday life—from employment to accessing public places,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “The retail real estate industry is fully committed to the collective goals of more accessibility and ensuring full compliance with this important law.”
Lawsuits associated with ADA violations have been on the rise in recent years. According to recent statistics, the number of Title III lawsuits filed in federal court in 2016 increased 37 percent from the previous year. In many instances, a single plaintiff has filed dozens, even hundreds, of cases across a geographic area alleging violations.
The legislation establishes a “notice and cure” provision that would create a temporary pause in litigation for up to 120 days before a lawsuit can be filed, allowing property owners the opportunity to correct identified barriers to access. The measure also mandates additional compliance safeguards, incentives to remedy alleged violations and additional resources to train professionals to provide guidance and remediation for potential ADA violations.
“Business owners shouldn’t have to choose between a costly legal fight or paying out thousands of dollars for minor, unintended or easily correctable issues,” said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of Global Public Policy for ICSC. “Congress needs to act this year to improve the ADA so resources are directed to the mission of the ADA rather than to certain plaintiffs’ lawyers.”
ICSC serves the global retail real estate industry. We provide our 70,000+ member network in over 100 countries with invaluable resources, connections and industry insights, and actively work together to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org.