When a disabled person sues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they are suing for injunctive relief. This means that the disabled person is suing for the court to order the defendant to stop discriminating against the disabled person (either by ordering the defendant to do a certain act, or by ordering the defendant to stop doing a certain act).
Nevertheless, in addition to injunctive relief, a disabled person may want monetary damages. After all, a disabled person who has suffered discrimination may want a more fulfilling outcome than simply having the defendant stop their illegal conduct. The disabled person may want compensation for their suffering.
Unfortunately, the ADA does not provide for damages. Rather, the only monetary recovery a disabled person in entitled to are “…reasonable attorney’s fee[s], including litigation expenses, and cost[s]…” (42 U.S.C. §12205).
Nevertheless, even if you are not entitled to damages under the ADA, in California, under the Unruh Act, and the Disabled Persons Act, you are entitled to “…actual damages but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) and attorney fees…” (Cal. Civil Code §§52 and 54.3(a)). This means in California you are automatically entitled to a minimum of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) in damages.
In contrast to California, in Nevada, there are no statutory damages in Nevada’s corresponding civil rights statute. (NRS §651.070). However, even though Nevada does not provide for statutory damages under NRS §651.070, your attorney may be able to argue for actual damages and, or, use additional theories of liability to ensure that you are compensated.
These blogposts shall not be constituted as legal advice and are for informational purposes only. Each and every case is different and requires an attorney to examine the specific case in question to arrive at an adequate legal conclusion. In addition, these blogposts are not updated, or edited, after the date of their initial post, and as such, the information contained within them may be outdated. Finally, the above blogpost discusses the law as interpreted within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit. Various federal circuits may have differing interpretations of the law. Consult with your own personal attorney for more information on the subject matters.