David Ritzenthaler, a disabled man, has filed more than 100 lawsuits against Arizona businesses alleging that their parking lots violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Mr. Ritzenthaler is just getting warmed up—I understand that he plans to file thousands of ADA “parking lot lawsuits” throughout Phoenix and across Arizona. Read my earlier blog about Mr. Ritzenthaler’s lawsuits here.
Mr. Ritzenthaler’s lawsuits do not discriminate. He has sued fast food restaurants, car washes, dental offices and commercial warehouses. The last category surprises some business owners. While most people recognize that retail businesses must comply with the ADA and provide accessibility to their patrons, very few are aware that the parking lots of commercial facilities—privately owned, nonresidential facilities such as factories, warehouses or office buildings—must also comply with the ADA. In other words, nearly every business facility in the U.S. that has a parking lot must comply with the ADA.
Most of Mr. Ritzenthaler’s lawsuits arise from three simple-to-fix violations of the ADA 2010 parking lot standards: (1) the correct number of “accessible” parking spaces, including van accessible parking spaces, (2) access aisles and pathways leading from accessible parking spaces to the facility entrance(s), and (3) signs with the international symbol for accessibility mounted in front of accessible parking spaces.
There are two types of businesses in Arizona—those that have been sued by Mr. Ritzenthaler and those that will be sued by Mr. Ritzenthaler. Both types of businesses need to consult with a knowledgeable ADA attorney to resolve (or prevent) their ADA parking lot lawsuit.