McColley Applauds Signing of Bill Strengthening Business Protections Against Predatory Lawsuits
COLUMBUS—State Senator Rob McColley
(R-Napoleon), sponsor of House Bill 271
, applauded the Governor's signing of his legislation to discourage predatory lawsuits filed against businesses who unintentionally violate outdated, technical or minute aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act. McColley introduced the legislation prior to his appointment to the Senate, while representing the 81st Ohio House District.
¿"There is a growing trend in Ohio where businesses are targeted by those looking to make a quick buck by going from business to business identifying trivial noncompliance issues and then filing lawsuits for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act," said McColley. "The purpose of the ADA is to ensure there are opportunities for all Americans, not to punish businesses for innocent mistakes or irrelevant details. This bill ensures we will continue to protect those with disabilities, while also giving businesses ample time to correct legitimate ADA violations."
Under the bill, a person who receives a notice must respond to the alleged aggrieved party by personal service or certified mail within 15 business days after the notice is served or sent. The response must do one of the following:
(1) Expressly state that improvements will be made to bring the property into compliance with applicable accessibility laws. If the responsible party makes the improvements within the 60-day period or provides a reasonable explanation as to why the improvements are not completed, such a response may not be considered an admission of guilt and is inadmissible as evidence in any future actions based on the same facts filed against the respondent;
(2) Challenge the validity of the alleged violation;
(3) State that the alleged violations identified by the alleged aggrieved party have been corrected to comply with applicable accessibility laws. The responsible party must attach evidence to the response that verifies those improvements.
House Bill 271 was signed on 19 December 2018.