Rep. Cook Votes to Strengthen Access for Disabled and Curb Abusive Lawsuits
WASHINGTON –Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. Cook is co-sponsor of this bipartisan bill which promotes access for persons with disabilities and gives business owners and local communities the tools they need to accommodate all their visitors without fear of a lawsuit. The bill passed the House by a margin of 225-192.
The ADA (American Disabilities Act) is now more than a quarter century old. The ADA is historic as it was the first comprehensive civil rights law enacted to protect disabled people because of their disability. HR 620 is a narrowly tailored bill which targets “drive-by” lawsuits which often saddle small businesses with expensive legal fees for technical violations of the ADA that they may not understand or recognize.
Most property owners or small business want to make their property accessible and accommodate all customers. This legislation amends the ADA to ensure that businesses have an opportunity to rectify an access issues after they are made aware of it before being dragged into court and subjected to costly legal fees.
Rep. Cook said, “Small business owners are the backbone of our economy. This legislation strengthens the ADA by ensuring that businesses can use their money to fix actually an access issue once it’s identified rather than pay costly settlements to greedy trial lawyers. This a common-sense fix which helps Americans with disabilities and small businesses alike.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.