Three California self-storage operators have been sued in separate lawsuits in the last two weeks for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The suits were filed in the Central District of California by the same plaintiff and law firm, who are considered “frequent fliers in ADA litigation,” officials of the national Self Storage Association (SSA) wrote in a May 14 e-mail newsletter to members. The complaints allege the operators violated ADA regulations in their management offices and parking lots.
“Operators in California and elsewhere are reminded to review items such as proper designation of parking spaces for the disabled, the route from the parking space to the office, the grade of the wheelchair ramp, and the height of the office counter,” SSA officials wrote. “Resolution of any items that are not in compliance is inexpensive compared to the cost of litigation.”
The SSA didn’t identify the plaintiff or law firm. At least 18 ADA cases involving self-storage operators have been filed nationwide since 2004, according to Justia, a website that tracks dockets and case filings across federal appellate and district courts.
Enacted in 1990, the ADA is a civil-rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities anywhere the general public has access. Many of the lawsuits against self-storage operators have been related to the public-accommodations provision, which requires facility-management offices, as well as some parking spaces and units, be accessible to anyone with a disability, including those in wheelchairs.
ADA compliance also extends to website accessibility. Lawsuits related to website infractions grew 16 percent last year, and litigation is expected to increase in frequency this year, according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
The Monday Morning Globe 5/14/18, Lawsuits Remind Storage Operators of Need for ADA Compliance
Justia, ADA Cases Involving Self-Storage
Inside Self-Storage, Everything Self-Storage Operators Need to Know About the Americans With Disabilities Act
Inside Self-Storage, Building a Self-Storage Website That Complies With the Americans With Disabilities Act