Disabled-Access Lawsuits Against Small Businesses Increasing

(Kim)

(Kim)

Everyone who likes to eat hot dogs should have the right to enter a restaurant and order some hot dogs. Recently, though, a 60-year-old luncheonette in Miami was sued when a man who walks with a cane sued, claiming 30 separate accessibility violations. Was the man even a customer of the hot dog stand? Turns out that doesn’t really matter.

Usually, restaurants, stores, and other businesses open to the public choose to settle lawsuits like this, making the needed changes instead of fighting the allegations. Even though he chose to settle, the owner of the hot dog stand in Miami ended up paying $10,000 to make needed renovations to his restaurant, and $14,000 in legal fees to settle the case.

Last year, a federal appellate court decision opened the button-controlled automatically opening door to lawsuits from people who aren’t necessarily customers of an establishment, but who claim to be “testers” checking businesses for accessibility. Since that decision, there has been a significant increase in the number of “testers” out there testing entrances and bathrooms and filing lawsuits.

Disability Lawsuits Against Small Businesses Soar [Wall Street Journal]