Suits claiming owners of shopping centers, restaurants and motels fail to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s handicap accessibility provisions have been riding a two-year upswing in New Jersey, a Law Journal analysis has found.
In the first three weeks of August alone, 18 suits over disabled access were filed in New Jersey, far more than the typical filings of three or four such suits per month over the last four years.
The volume of disabled-access suits has been increasing in New Jersey and around the country, according to Adam Saravay, a partner at McCarter & English in Newark who handles such cases. He attributed the increase to the small group of lawyers who file multiple cases around the country.
“One of the common frustrations among clients and business owners is that the first time they hear about an issue of access is when a lawsuit is filed. In my experience, business owners are interested in making their businesses accessible to all of their customers,” Saravay said.