It is the law to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today thousands of businesses are being sued, and some are going out of business because of expensive law suits brought on by ADA violations. 40% of these lawsuits are filed in California. The majority of these lawsuits are frivolous “drive by” law suits filed in the courts by “serial litigants”. These disabled litigants go from business to business extorting money from business owners, threatening them with lawsuits unless they pay them off. Common litigated items are missing signs, doorway thresholds that are too high, and parking spaces that are too narrow or missing signage. The minimum fine for each of these items is $4,000 per occurrence with lawsuits reaching as high as $50,000.
Because of all this opportunistic litigation, Senate Bill 1608 (SB 1608) was created. SB 1608 was designed to promote compliance with the ADA laws by providing equal public access in places of business to individuals with disabilities, while reducing unwarranted litigation. This bill created the Certified Access Specialist or CASp program. A CASp (Certified Access Specialist) is an individual who has passed a rigorous exam on disabled access issues and accessibility law and is qualified to inspect for ADA violations. Having your business inspected by a State Certified CASp will greatly reduce your liability to accessibility related law suits as well as provide you with protection if you are ever sued.