Global Hospitality Advisor: ADA Cases Can Be Won

JMBM Helps Hotel Owner Beat the Shakedown

In an important case for the hospitality industry, JMBM attorney Martin (Marty) Orlick, along with insurance defense counsel, helped a Santa Barbara hotel avoid paying plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs in a lawsuit filed against it under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Marty Orlick has defended more than 175 ADA lawsuits, many of them for hotels and restaurants. In a number of his cases, courts have substantially reduced plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and in some instances the formula used to determine fees as been given a “negative multiplier.”

“Courts are concerned about how the ADA is implemented through the legal system,” says Orlick. “But few ADA cases go trial to where courts can set these kinds of precedents.” He adds that the specter of paying plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees is often the reason that those sued under the ADA decide to settle instead of having their day in court.

The case against this hotel is one of the few cases addressing ADA standing requirements in California. “The decision dealt a sharp blow to professional ADA plaintiffs and their lawyers,” says James O. Abrams, President and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. “More importantly, however,” he adds, “it proves to lodging establishments and other businesses that ADA cases can in fact be defended successfully, and it shows exactly how to win them.”

For more information, contact Marty Orlick at 415.984.9667 or MOrlick@jmbm.com.