Jacksonville, FL, Settles ADA Dispute with DOJ for $37 million

The Jacksonville Business Journal reports that “The city of Jacksonville has reached a settlement agreement to fix violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The Journal continues, “The settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to get the violations fixed will cost $37 million, but the city expected it to be less. ‘They were cost estimates based on more restrictive rates,’ said Cindy Laquidara, the city’s general counsel.”

The city started dealing with the problem in 2010 when the Department of Justice gave it a list of hundreds of violations. The library, city hall, and polling places were just a few examples. The city attorney says its trying to find a smaller number than $37 million to do the work.

Congress passed the ADA in 1990 and granted local governments 18 months to comply with its mandates of equal access to public accommodations for people with disabilities, but Congress left enforcement of the ADA to individuals willing to file suit.  This resulted in decisions by many in local government to defer the cost of compliance.

More coverage here:  Jacksonville Business Journal