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Supreme Court Throws Out Case That Could Have Limited Lawsuits Over Disability Access

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a case surrounding a Maine hotel that could have made it harder for people with disabilities to learn in advance whether a hotel’s accommodations meet their needs.

Hotels and other business interests had urged the justices to limit the ability of so-called testers to file lawsuits against hotels that fail to disclose accessibility information on their websites and through other reservation services.

The information is required by a 2010 Justice Department rule. People who suffer discrimination can sue under the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990.

The justices did not issue a decision on the substance of the case. Instead, they dismissed the case and threw out a lower court ruling in favor of tester lawsuits. The outcome leaves the issue unresolved nationally.

Federal courts in some parts of the country allow such lawsuits. In others, those suits are barred.

The case in front of the court involved whether Deborah Laufer, a woman with disabilities, has the right to sue a hotel in Maine that lacked the accessibility information on its website, despite having no plans to visit it.

In an effort to forestall an unfavorable ruling, Laufer withdrew her lawsuit against the hotel.


3 Responses

  1. The civil case against Trump incited by corrupt NYS AG ‘Litigious’ James should similarly be dismissed – no injured parties to the accounting irregularities. Might be different if the plaintiff was actually or potentially inconvenienced.

  2. lastword: The Trump case in New York is under state law. The “cases and controversies” clause applies only to Federal courts. The charges are obviously political, but if New York law allows prosecutions for political heresy, it is unlikely a Federal court could intervene. A possible argument could be made that the 1st amendment prohibits politically motivated abuse of the legal system, but that would reverse what has been considered lawful in the past (and perhaps if the Republicans denounce all abusive motivation of the legal system, not just ones directed against themselves, they would get much more traction).

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