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ADA compliance a liability risk for small business owners

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A recent article in Businessweek discussed the role of Scott Johnson, a lawyer who has sued thousands of small businesses for not following the Americans with Disabilities Act.

During his career, Johnson has been involved with numerous lawsuits with businesses that fail to provide adequate access to their buildings for the disabled. As part of the ADA, all public places are required to have a minimum level of access. However, many disabled advocates claim government agencies do not enforce this law. As a result, attorneys have taken responsibility for point out violations.

Last week alone, the source says Johnson filed more than two dozen lawsuits on involving lack of access. Since 2004, the total number of cases is well past 1,000.

"I have a very personal interest in ensuring access," Johnson told the news provider. "I'm disabled."

What makes Johnson's case even more significant is that his law firm only has one client, that being himself. Whenever Johnson is exposed to violations of the law, he submits another lawsuit.

"Every case I file has merit," Johnson expressed to Businessweek. "They basically have to attack me rather than examine themselves."

Small business owners should take steps to make sure their place of business is ADA-compliant to avoid professional liability and potential lawsuits. 

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