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Re: The lawsuit dilemma

Re: The lawsuit dilemma:

I started an Accesssible Guide to our local area and have asked for people to send in to me details of what they find wrong or right when they shop and dine. I offer to list the name and contact information for the establishment and detail its accessible and inaccessible features. I then send a copy of what is going on the website to the owner of the business so that they can offer corrections. The one positive result has been for a restaurant's need to understand that some of their customers will not be able to use their valets to park (as their vehicles are modified)and what role a valet has in this situation. So far no corrections have been offered and no inaccessible features have been changed. In fact no one has even felt threatened by the existence of the website page. http://www/bwcil.org/accessiblewayne.html So does notifying a business of a problem help - not from my experience.
Susan Fitzmaurice <susan@bwcil.org>
West Bloomfield, MI USA

- Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 19:29:17 (EST)
The article does not mention Molski only sues businesses who are occupied in very old building built before the 1990 ADA law was established. New buildings are ADA compliant. New buildings that are not compliant should be sued because the builders know about the 1990 ADA law. Don t sue old business because our wonderful government didn t take consideration of old buildings and didn t establish guidelines for old buildings. I am fan for protecting the ADA laws but I am against money hungry Molski. His evil act and destroying small business owners lives are disgusting.
San Luis Obispo, CA
- Saturday, December 04, 2004 at 04:22:57 (EST)

I seriously doubt the claim that the media is slanted against ADA mainly because we, people with disabilities, do not take the time and effort to involve them in our issues.The media has a stake in not complying too. The logic in noting that businesses have had 14 years or 30 years to
make changes applies to the media as well. I do not beleive people who work in media are stupid or ignorant. I do beleive they are self- serving and want to resist making their house accessible.
John Jay Frank <jfrank@colled.msstate.edu>
Starkville, MS USA

- Tuesday, November 09, 2004 at 18:07:05 (EST)
The notion of "frivolous lawsuits" is patently absurd. It echoes the famous "outside agitators" who were swarming on the Sovereign States of the Solid South during the Civil Rights era to foment discontent amongst their hitherto perfectly-satisfied "nigrahs".

The "media" that will soon be a memory of some archaic pre-internet epoch are part of the establishment against whom all these actions are necessary. Any sane person who spends much time in court recognizes that on the whole judges dismiss frivolity out of hand. Regularly. Routinely. Statistically there's no such thing as a "frivolous lawsuit".

William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Goldendale, WA USA
- Tuesday, November 09, 2004 at 17:34:28 (EST)
I live in a small town with the population under 50,000.

When my friend opened NOTEs, a small bar, her architects designed the interior according to the ADAAG. When the building inspector came by for a visit, she was told that the ADAAG did not apply because the local laws were MORE stringent and that she would have to enlarge the bathrooms etc etc. They told her that if the ADAAG was more stringent than the local laws that she would have been fine, but because the local laws are more stringent than the ADAAG, that she would need to comply with the local laws.

My point is, IF a SMALL town can enforce the laws - why can't a BIG city or other small town?

The laws have been in existance for too many years for anyone to claim ignorance and SHAME on them for doing so. Ignorance is no excuse. It is like telling the Judge that you thought the powder in your pocket was baby powder and had no idea that it was cocaine.. Yeah - Right... Do you think that the Judge would say - oh- okay, well next time check it out first..You are free to go, case dismissed..

The Notification Act - they have had a Notification Act since 1990. Get into compliance or get sued. Thank heavens for the Jarek Molski's for without them, ADA or no ADA nothing would have changed.
Daun L. Flynn

- Sunday, November 07, 2004 at 12:44:57 (EST)
Thank you for giving this issue the proper perspective. The core of the story seems that most businesses as well as cities and counties really do choose to ignore access complaints until they are asked to pay some damages for this inaction.

Full access to all places open to the public in California has been required by state law since 1970. Most stories refer only to the federal requirements of the ADA/ADAAG. It is totally unreasonable to expect a person with a disability to give written notice and wait for 90 days for a barrier to be removed, when the owner has refused to remove the barrier for over 30 years in some cases.

Thank you for giving much needed perspective to why going to court is the only effective way to get most barriers removed.
John Lonberg

- Sunday, November 07, 2004 at 12:43:48 (EST)
We do not have an ADA or similar legislation in Canada .My impression from having visited a number of U.S cities and rural areas is that most places are more accesible than they are in Canada. My guess is that this is largely due to the ADA and the access to the courts that the act affords. Despite some misconceptions of the excesses of the legal system which are widely misreported in this rather law suit unfriendly country I admire the courage of the litigants and the ingenuity shown by their counsel in your country.

After 60 years on this planet I have no confidence in businesses exercising good will or even common sense in accomodating the disabled when there`s a buck to be saved by ignoring them. Here`s to a vigorous and feisty plaintiff`s bar!
Doug Mac Eachern
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

- Sunday, November 07, 2004 at 12:20:17 (EST)
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