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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12467
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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My grandma sees a psychiatrist on the second floor of an

Customer Question

Hi Pearl. My grandma sees a psychiatrist on the second floor of an office building and she has trouble getting up the stairs. The doctors have told me that they would love to put in an elevator but the building association won't allow it. The building was built in 1981 (what it says online) and the Doctor told me it is structurally feasible. Is there any legal action I can take against the building association?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: ca
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Stacy Adkins replied 2 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. According to the CA Division of the State Architect, the following types of privately funded multistory buildings do not require a ramp or elevator above and below the first floor:
Multistoried office buildings (other than the professional office of a health care provider) and passenger vehicle service stations less than three stories high or less than 3,000 square feet (279 m2 ) per story.

Any other privately funded multistoried building that is not a shopping center, shopping mall, or the professional office of a health care provider, and that is less than three stories high or less than 3,000 square feet (279 m2 ) per story if a reasonable portion of all facilities and accommodations normally sought and used by the public in such a building are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

I'd recommend calling the CA Commission on Disability Access for further clarification. Then, once you confirm that this particular building is required to be compliant, you could discuss the issue with the building owner. If they fail to respond or make any accommodations, you could file suit to compel them to comply with ADA requirements. If they're found to not be in compliance, they can face additional fines and penalties. The main problem is determining whether this specific building is subject to those compliance laws. I do see that two story office buildings are not generally required to have elevators.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was asking about the office of a health care provider. What then?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I already called ADA, they said to consult an attorney.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Good day, my name is Brandon. I am a California licensed attorney, and I will be picking up where the last attorney left off. The main concern I have in this situation does not arise from whether the modification is structurally feasible; my concern arises from the age of the building. The ADA went into effect in 1992, and buildings constructed prior to 1993 do not have the same compliance requirements as newer buildings. The fact that the building houses a healthcare provider does not change the determination of whether modifications must be made to the building in this case. You mentioned that you "called ADA". Which agency was it that you actually called? Was it DOL?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
https://www.ada.gov/infoline.htm
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for that information. That was a pretty good place to start. They can't give specific legal advice, so I can understand why they recommended that you contact an attorney. That said, if you believe that the office is in violation of law, you are still able to file a complaint with the DOJ. This can be done online through the following website: https://www.ada.gov/fact_on_complaint.htm

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

I hope that I have been able to answer your question. Please let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating once you are finished (it is how I am credited for my work). Thank you!