Senator Morrell Votes to Protect Small Businesses from Frivolous Lawsuits

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), voted in favor of bipartisan legislation that seeks to limit the number of lawsuits faced by businesses across the state, while preserving access to public accommodations for those with disabilities.

Senate Bill 251 would provide relief to businesses who are demonstrating a concerted effort to comply with ADA accessibility requirements by providing an opportunity to resolve identified construction-related violations without being subject to penalties or litigation costs. The measure seeks to rein in frivolous lawsuits that are brought against business owners, often for financial gain, and not necessarily to further accommodate individuals who deserve access to public places.

“Combined with high taxes and regulations, the threat of frivolous lawsuits can discourage businesses from investing and expanding here in California,” said Morrell. “SB 251 will help rein in these cases by ensuring that those business owners who are actively trying to make their properties accessible to everyone have a chance to fix identified violations before being taken to court. It is a needed step forward in promoting economic growth and job creation.”

According to a report by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, California suffers from the nation's fourth-worst lawsuit climate.

SB 251 passed by a unanimous and bipartisan vote of 40-0. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.