Washington DC - U.S. Congressman Duncan D. Hunter announced today that he will be introducing legislation to protect small businesses from predatory lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The legislation, which provides business owners sufficient time to evaluate and correct potential ADA violations before costly litigation starts, addresses a recurring problem in San Diego County and across the country. 

"Even under a thriving economy, our nation's small business community must contend with a multitude of obstacles that challenge its profitability and competitiveness," said Congressman Hunter.  "These obstacles, such as high tax rates and an excessive regulatory framework, have been perpetuated in recent years by high insurance and litigation costs.

"When the ADA was enacted in 1990, it was intended to protect Americans with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace and guarantee access to places of public accommodation.  It was never meant to be a vehicle for personal profit, which it has turned into for some attorneys who are targeting businesses with private lawsuits.  Often, business owners are unaware of potential violations or whether these claims are legitimate.   

"The ADA Notification and Compliance Act provides businesses with a reasonable opportunity to evaluate alleged violations and make the necessary corrections before the legal process can begin.  The legislation does not relieve businesses of their obligation to comply with the law.  Instead, it provides businesses with an additional layer of protection against costly and frivolous lawsuits while ensuring Americans with disabilities receive the opportunities and access they deserve."  

Specifically, the ADA Notification and Compliance Act provides business owners, upon receiving notice of possible ADA violations, with at least 90 days to make improvements to existing facilities before legal action can start.