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Lawmaker wants to protect cities from frivolous lawsuits over A.D.A.

City Hall and television transmission towers are reflected in the fountain in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.
Last year, the state acted to curb frivolous lawsuits against businesses over disability access, but a loophole has left cities open to being taken to court.

Now, state Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) has introduced legislation giving local governments the same 30 to 60 days to correct any violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) before a lawsuit can be filed.

“Local governments were not included in last year’s meaningful A.D.A. reform, which now makes them even more vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits,” Olsen said.

She noted that one man has filed more than 1,000 claims against businesses and local government agencies alleging that they have failed to comply with A.D.A. requirements, and that Yuba City decided last year to pay $15,000 to prevent a prolific plaintiff from filing lawsuits in that town.

AB 223 would prohibit people from filing letters with cities demanding money as a condition for avoiding a lawsuit, just as last year’s bill did to protect businesses.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: City Hall and television transmission towers are reflected in the fountain in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. Credit:  Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times.

 
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