Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Accessibility In Parking Lots

One of the quickest ways to get a lawsuit for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to have a parking lot that does not comply with the ADA.   Parking lots must meet the requirements ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.  The reason for this is simple..........although the law requires a plaintiff to have personally encountered the violation of the ADA, many serial plaintiffs simply drive by and record the businesses address in order to file a lawsuit.   This is why the ADA lawsuits are sometimes referred to as "drive by" lawsuits.  While there are many parking lot issues that can get a businesses into trouble, one of the easiest ways is to not maintain any existing accessible parking that already exist in the parking lot.  Businesses have an on-going obligation to maintain their accessible parking and the accessible route to the main entry of the building.   As you can see from the photograph above, there is just about nothing that is accessible about this parking stall.  The only way to determine this is an accessible stall is the faded emblem of a wheel chair on the pavement at the rear of the stall.   To be fair, there is also some non-conforming signage on a pole in front of the stall.  In addition to the many technical violations this stall has, it's also is too far from the front door.   The ADA requires that accessible stalls be as close as possible to the main entry door of the building.

Another quick way to get into trouble is to use your accessible parking for something else besides accessible parking as can be seen in this photograph to the left.   Although they do have an accessible stall that does not the requirements of the ADA, the business owner has decided to make matters worse by using half of the parking stall for storage of their merchandise.   This business is located on a major street with the parking lot being very visible from the street.   As a result, the chances of this business receiving an ADA lawsuit are very high.  To minimize their exposure, this business should at a minimum remove the merchandise from the stall and repaint the accessible stall to meet the technical requirements of the ADA.   In addition, this stall needs the proper signage installed

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