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Pool Lifts Must Comply With ADA Regulations By End of January

By Kara Maciel and Jordan Schwartz

As a reminder, January 31, 2013 is the deadline for hotels and other places of public accommodation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (“ADA”) requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (“2010 Standards”) related to the provision of accessible entry and exit to existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas (including pool lifts).

As we explained here, although the effective date for the 2010 Standards was March 15, 2012, in response to public comments and concerns, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) provided a 10-month grace period for compliance. This grace period will end on January 31, 2013. Our recent blog post explains the 2010 Standards’ requirements and sets forth what pool and spa owners and operators must do to ensure compliance with the law.

There are substantial risks of non-compliance with the 2010 Standards. Indeed, the DOJ may obtain civil penalties of up to $55,000 for just one ADA violation, and penalties up to $110,000 for any subsequent violation. Furthermore, a lack of compliance greatly increases the risk that a “drive-by” plaintiff will commence a costly lawsuit against your property.