The U.S. House Judiciary held a markup on September 7th on the “The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” (H.R. 620) in an important first step in moving the measure in this Congress. NMHC/NAA supports this bipartisan bill which is designed to uphold the objectives of ADA while deterring costly and frivolous lawsuits against property owners. Similar to previous measures, the bill is narrowly tailored to target so-called “drive-by” lawsuits, which have become common throughout the real estate industry. The bill passed on a party line vote.
Such lawsuits often result from tester visits to a business for the express purpose of finding ADA violations and filing suit. A single plaintiff sometimes files dozens of complaints that typically demand settlement money in lieu of proceeding with a lawsuit. Recognizing that these actions do nothing to remedy alleged design and construction violations, H.R. 620 instead provides a business owner with the opportunity to cure an alleged deficiency prior to the initiation of a lawsuit.
More information and the hearing testimony is available here.