Small business group applauds dismissal of 1,100 ADA lawsuits

Many of the lawsuits claimed businesses did not properly provide “van-accessible” signs.   File photo

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) released a press release this week applauding the dismissal of 1,100 lawsuits against Arizona businesses in regards to their parking accessibility.

Filed in 2016, the lawsuits against these businesses alleged that their parking lots were not accessible to persons with disabilities. Many suits indicated that businesses did not properly provide “van-accessible” signs, and were not in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Talamante dismissed the suits, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that the Arizonans with Disabilities Act permits any person who believes a place of public accommodation has violated the act to bring a civil action.

During the oral hearing on Feb. 17, “The court found that any plaintiff in an Arizona court must demonstrate that it has experienced injury or harm to establish standing to sue,” the release stated. “The court further found that these plaintiffs failed to make such a showing, since they did not allege that they ever visited or attempted to visit the businesses they sued.”

The ASBA release also said business owners should note this decision would not signal the end of these kinds of lawsuits, and that they should assess their businesses and the ways they provide services to ensure that they comply with the ADA.

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