California Pavement Maintenance Company (CPM) is your one-stop-shop for ADA compliance work. We can handle all parking lot and path-of-travel issues.
With a Certified Access Specialist licensed by the State Architect on staff, you can be confident that we are up to date with our knowledge and interpretations of both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and current state building code requirements. Certified Access Specialist #342, Bruce Taylor.
Our Estimators will work with you to develop a plan to identify and correct accessibility issues on your property.
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An ADA lawsuit? On your brand new commercial building? But, you say, the builder followed the architect’s plans, the city signed off on them and the layout meets the Building Code! Certainly we comply, how can I be sued?
This is the heart of the legal mess. There can be significant differences between building codes and ADA requirements. Architects, building inspectors and other officials review and sign off on plans using the International Building Code (IBC) and its technical standards, ANSI. Design professionals, builders and owners may thus all believe a project is compliant. In reality, that assumption often leads to ADA issues that can result in a federal lawsuit, even on a brand new facility, for a civil rights violation!
Civil Rights Law – A bigger problem than having two different standards is the court setting: If you are sued, it will most likely be in Federal Court for a civil rights violation, not a mere civil code violation. Nuisance suits may also file additional claims under other statutes. California enacted the Unruh Act which also prohibits businesses from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Typical lawsuits will include the Federal ADA as well as violations of the Unruh Act. Why?
The Unruh Act makes the ADA lawsuit more dangerous. A business which violates the Unruh Act is liable for any actual damages at a minimum of $4000. ADA plaintiffs usually argue they are entitled to $4000 for each violation so if you have three violations, that is $12,000.
Until some common sense comes to our court system, the best defense is a good offense.
Examining the facts:
The Best Defense: Make sure your business is ADA compliant. There are a number of professionals who can assist you with this. It is much cheaper to do this before you face a lawsuit.
On Going Compliance: Once you have established ADA compliance, you need to assure that you remain compliant with the seemingly all-to-frequent changes. An annual ADA review will help you discover any current issues.
Think like an ADA plaintiff. If your parking lot entry, signs, path of travel and other easy-to-see items are in current compliance, you have shown attention to the issues and may not warrant further investment of time.