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Arizona House advances bill to crack down on disability access lawsuits

(Flickr/Joe Gratz)

PHOENIX — The Arizona House has approved legislation designed to crack down on disability access lawsuits that opponents say are just shakedowns for quick cash settlements.

The measure targets what legislators call unscrupulous attorneys who they say are exploiting businesses by finding violations with the Arizonans with Disabilities Act and filing lawsuits. The claims are often dropped after businesses agree to pay a cash settlement.

The proposal emerged after Attorney General Mark Brnovich successfully challenged more than 1,000 lawsuits filled by a disability advocacy group.

Competing House and Senate proposals merged earlier this month were amended again during floor debate Thursday. The new version allows a business time to fix the problems before a lawsuit may be filed.

Senate Bill 1408 passed on a 38-20 vote and now returns to the Senate.

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