This week the Florida House Senate approved H.B. 727 (Rep. Tom Leek) by a 37 to 0 vote, moving the legislation to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.
The measure requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to establish a program to provide for the licensure of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) expert and authorizes experts to advise and provide certain inspections for places of public accommodation relating to the ADA.
In actions alleging violation of ADA, the court would be required to consider remediation by owners in determining if the lawsuit was filed in good faith and if the plaintiff is entitled to attorney fees. Funds have been appropriated in the FY2017-18 budget to support establishment of the program. H.B. 727 was previously approved by the Florida House of Representatives in late April.
Florida was ranked second in the nation for number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in 2016 in study by Seyfarth Shaw LLP.