From Recent Choice Hotels E-mail:You may be aware that there is a law firm suing hotels, including Choice properties, in connection with the way property amenities and accessible rooms are being listed on www.choicehotels.com. These claims continue to spread and unless you act now, you could face litigation that you will need to settle or defend. This issue was originally brought to your attention in the March 2018 Franchise Services Dispatch. It is important to remember that you are responsible for accurately listing the amenities and features of your guest rooms. Choice does not have this information and it is up to each hotel to ensure that the website is correct. Please take a few minutes today to double check your room type and amenity listing to make sure they are accurate.Choice has information resources for your review here:https://apps.choicecentral.com/ccweb/content/resources/ADA.htmlNext Steps –Please verify which of the amenities below are associated with each of your handicap room types and use this form on ChoiceCentral to update the room amenities with the correct ones for every handicap room type you have. You should also update the hotel amenities using this form to update ADA associated features, especially under the “Security and Accessible” section. Again, you should do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Here is an article that discusses “drive-by” lawsuits. Could Your Business Avoid an ADA Drive-By Lawsuit?In the meantime, take action now to ensure your room and hotel ADA descriptors are accurate and fully disclosed on your website.According to this article, there are things that businesses can do to enhance access to their facilities and potentially deter ADA litigation:
- Consult with counsel on your ADA obligations and develop a compliance plan. It is important to know the design standard that applies to your facility and whether any elements are safe harbored.
- Consult with an ADA expert regarding potential barriers to access and an appropriate remediation plan.
- Consider whether your state (e.g., Florida, California, Arizona, Minnesota) has enacted ADA reform legislation and whether it might benefit your business and, if so, how.
- Should you be sued under the ADA, consider whether prompt remediation may avoid your liability for plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs.
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