California has been a haven for plaintiffs’ attorneys suing for ADA (American With Disabilities Act) violations because of existing law that provided up to $4000 in statutory damages, along with attorneys fees for every violation. Under the old law, a disabled person could visit a retail establishment multiple times and sue for $4000 for each visit.
This practice, known as stacking claims, has been limited by a new bill signed by Governor Brown. The new law, SB 1186, signed September 19, 2012 reduces statutory damages to $1000 for certain property owners who meet requirements stated in the bill and fix ADA violations within 60 days, and $2000 for certain small business owners who fix ADA violations within 30 days. You should consult with an attorney to see whether your business qualifies for these reduced damages.
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