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ADA compliance continues to raise professional liability issues for businesses

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A recent article in the Florida Times-Union discussed how compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act has caused headaches for many local businesses in Jacksonville.

The article relays that two businesses had lawsuits filed against them without even knowing. The reason is because they both failed to meet ADA compliance with their establishment, and one man has taken it upon himself to enforce these rules.

Norman Hoewischer has filed 71 lawsuits involving lack of ADA compliance with Jacksonville-based businesses. Hoewischer is disabled and has developed a keen eye for compliance issues at a variety of locations, including stores, restaurants, malls and more.

Each one of Hoewischer's lawsuits alleges that he attempted to use the facility at these locations, but because of lack of accommodations, he was unable to fully access the area. The lawsuits have different claims, ranging from lack of handicapped parking spaces to toilet dispensers in the bathroom and the inability to reach certain tables.

None of Hoewischer's suits request damages, however, these businesses can be out thousands of dollars for legal fees as well as the subsequent repairs necessary to meet ADA requirements.

To avoid costly lawsuits and other cases involving professional liability, businesses now must ensure their location is completely ADA compliant.

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