In Mid June the Ohio-based Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions filed an amicus brief in Acheson Hotels v. Laufer, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard the American judicial system from abuse and send a clear message that lawsuits must be based on actual injury or harm. National REIA (along with a few others) joined The Buckeye Institute in filing the brief.
“Testers have been a vexation on rental owners for many years as they literally waste everyone’s time going through a process to rent a unit and never doing so. It is not uncommon for five or six testers to visit a site to build up theoretical complaints against an owner for some minor violation. But at least those testers are going through the paces of trying to show up at a property and experiencing whatever violation they allege.”
“The newest iteration of testers are literally phoning it in. It’s time for the courts, which opened up this venue to a cottage industry, to close down this loophole. Fair housing and ADA violations can be very serious, but the undermining of the law, word and spirit, by theoretically constructed lawsuits only serves to fatten the wallet of lawyers. With no actual harm created, these cases represent what would historically have been called frivolous lawsuits. It’s time for courts to shut them down. The National Real Estate Investors Association is proud to stand with the Buckeye Institute and many other groups in asking for relief from this undermining of the rule of law.” Said Charles Tassell, COO National REIA.
An excerpt from the media release issued by the Buckeye Insitute:
“Deborah Laufer describes herself as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “tester.” She frequently visits hotel, motel, and bed-and-breakfast websites to see if those websites contain information that she believes is required by the ADA and—even though she has suffered no injury or harm—has filed more than 600 federal lawsuits against hotel owners and operators for what she deems is insufficient or unclear information regarding ADA access. In this case, Ms. Laufer admits that she had no intention of staying at the Coast Village Inn and Cottages. Her visit to the website was to create the pretext for the lawsuit.”