While an ADA retaliation claim does not warrant compensatory and punitive damages, lawyers are able to pursue compensation for their client’s legal fees, which may range from such amounts as $25,000 to astonishing digits. The court may also issue an injunction for the defendant to make their website accessible to people with disabilities by a specified date. In other cases, the defendant may be forced to pay a civil penalty.
The question of fixing the elevator is an entirely different matter (and one with which I am personally struggling in my own home), depends on local building codes and the specifics of the building, and you will need to start with the local building department to see if there is any way to get the situation rectified if the landlord is unresponsive.
SDG&E is refusing to approve my new residential solar installation because they require a 24″ clearance in all directions for their gas meter located on the side of my house. They refuse to grant a 4″ variance for one of the solar meters which is located about 3 feet above and to the right of gas meter. The encroaching solar meter would have to be moved 30 feet over a fixed stucco wall which would require me to walk all the way around the house instead of 10 feet to the current location. I would also be required to allow 24hr/7 day a week access to the Solar Company, SDG&E and City workers into my side and rear yards which is an unnecessary invasion of my privacy. If they trip and fall or have any accident as a result of an alleged dangerous condition of my property they can sue me outside of their workers comp plan and my home owners insurer will be required to pay and then raise my rates or drop my coverage. Can I ask that SDG&E grant the 4″ variance based on the ADA and the severe osteoarthritis I have in my hips and knees? I have had 4 surgeries so far and soon will need double knee and hip replacement surgeries.
In April of 2011, the DOJ reached a settlement with Law School Admission Council (LSAC). A complaint was brought by the National Federation of the Blind claiming, in part, that barriers on the www.lsac.org website made it impossible for blind students to register for the LSAT. The DOJ joined in this lawsuit and is a signatory to the settlement agreement wherein LSAC agreed to provide “Full and Equal Access” to the lsac.org website, no later than September 1, 2011. “Full and Equal Access” meant that “www.lsac.org meets the nonvisual requirements of WCAG 2.0, level AA and that blind guests using screen-reader software may acquire the same information and engage in the same transactions as are available to sighted guests with substantially equivalent ease of use.”
When the law was enacted in 1990, it did not specifically address website accessibility for the disabled, but this has become a much-discussed topic in recent years. In 2006, Target settled a class action lawsuit alleging Target.com was inaccessible to the blind, in violation of the ADA, and in 2015 both Reebok and the NBA were hit with a class action lawsuit that alleged their websites did not accomodate the blind and visually impaired.
Is there anyone who can help from the ADA? It does not make sense to me that just because we are on private property that the policy will not ticket these violators. Is there anything the ADA can do to help my HOA realize that we are asking for the most basic of safety and access rights in our community by providing at the minimum a safe and clear path to walk on instead of being forced to walk in a weaving pattern being forced into the street and around cars parked across sidewalks?
Currently, there is a safe harbor clause that allows your existing content to remain as it is, unless altered after January 18, 2018. However, the guidelines do pertain to any page that has been updated after that date. So if you want to avoid the legal costs of being found non-compliant with the ADA, it’s best to make the necessary changes to your website now.
"III-3.6000 Retaliation or coercion. Individuals who exercise their rights under the ADA, or assist others in exercising their rights, are protected from retaliation. The prohibition against retaliation or coercion applies broadly to any individual or entity that seeks to prevent an individual from exercising his or her rights or to retaliate against him or her for having exercised those rights ... Any form of retaliation or coercion, including threats, intimidation, or interference, is prohibited if it is intended to interfere."
In one case where the defendant, Bang & Olfusen, won its motion to dismiss, the court noted that the plaintiff had failed to plead a nexus between the physical place of public accommodation and the website in question. In the other case, the court dismissed the claims made against Domino’s because requiring the defendant to comply with a set of web accessibility guidelines that are not yet law would violate due process principles. The Domino’s decision is on appeal and will be reviewed by the Ninth Circuit in 2018. Our post about these cases is here.
Accessible route is a fundamental term used to describe, “A continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces of an accessible site, building or facility that can be negotiated by a person with a disability using a wheelchair, and that is also safe for and usable by persons with other disabilities…” In short, we can think of it as the ground surface which allows travel by wheelchair. The technical requirements are in CBC Chapter 11B Divisions 3 (Building Blocks) and 4 (Accessible Route). EVCS required by CBC Chapter 11B to be accessible must have an accessible route to the facility entrance (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.1) and an accessible route from the vehicle space to the EVSE (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.2). No exceptions are provided but you can use existing accessible routes to help satisfy these requirements.