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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

October 15, 2020

ADA Accessibility Lawsuits: Plaintiff Saim Sarwar Targeting Hotels, Motels

We previously published a legal alert about serial plaintiff Deborah Laufer, who, within the last year, has filed more than 500 federal lawsuits in 15 different states against hotels, motels, and others places of lodging. While Laufer has continued her litigation onslaught across the country, a new plaintiff, Saim Sarwar, who appears to be represented by the same attorneys representing Laufer, has recently filed roughly 40 lawsuits in at least 10 different states, including nearly a dozen lawsuits in New York.

Similar to the Laufer lawsuits, the Sarwar lawsuits generally allege the online reservation system for each property—whether directly operated by the defendant or indirectly operated through third-party websites (e.g., Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Booking.com)—is inaccessible to Sarwar and otherwise fails to provide certain information concerning accessible features of the property in violation of, among other laws, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

We recommend any hotel, motel, or other place of lodging that operates a website or accepts reservations through third-party websites immediately take steps to ensure the information available on online reservation systems concerning accessible features of the property is compliant with federal, state, and local disability laws. In the unfortunate event you are served with one of these ADA accessibility lawsuits, please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorneys at Barclay Damon. We are currently representing a number of defendants in these and similar ADA accessibility lawsuits, as noted in an article recently published by the Associated Press. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Rob Thorpe, counsel, at rthorpe@barclaydamon.com; Anneliese Aliasso, associate, at aaliasso@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Area or Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team.

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