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A new type of ADA law suit


From: Steve Green
Date: May 20, 2019 5:24AM

If you operate a hotel or guest rooms in the US, or if you provide website development services to such organisations, you need to read this.

Last year, an ADA law suit was brought against one of our clients that operates a hotel in New York. The suit claimed that the website was not accessible, and after making the necessary improvements we thought the problem had gone away.

However, they have just received another ADA law suit, but this one is different. It is claiming that the website does not contain the necessary information about accessible rooms and features. As far as I can tell, this information is mandatory and it is not present on our client's website. What surprises me is that in all the discussions about ADA cases, I have never seen this requirement mentioned. I am also surprised that our client's US lawyers didn't tell them about it.

Fixing this isn't just a matter of adding some text content. Some of the requirements mean that the booking process will need to be redesigned. And these requirements also apply to rooms sold through third parties.

Whilst I hope this is a one-off claim, there is the possibility we will now see another tsunami of them like we did last year.

The relevant section in ADA is 28 cfr section 36.302(e)(1), which says:

Reservations made by places of lodging.
A public accommodation that owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of lodging shall, with respect to reservations made by any means, including by telephone, in-person, or through a third party -

(i) Modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms;

(ii) Identify and describe accessible features in the hotels and guest rooms offered through its reservations service in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a given hotel or guest room meets his or her accessibility needs;

(iii) Ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented and the accessible room requested is the only remaining room of that type;

(iv) Reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms or specific types of guest rooms and ensure that the guest rooms requested are blocked and removed from all reservations systems; and

(v) Guarantee that the specific accessible guest room reserved through its reservations service is held for the reserving customer, regardless of whether a specific room is held in response to reservations made by others.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd
020 3002 4176 (direct)
0800 612 2780 (switchboard)
07957 246 276 (mobile)
020 7692 5517 (fax)
Skype: testpartners
Connect to me on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevegreen2