content top

Hotels Sued For Violating ADA Online Reservation Policies

ADA plaintiffs have often targeted the hotel industry and Theresa Brooke’s latest round of lawsuits is no different. This time, she is suing hotels over their online reservation policies.

The Department of Justice issued regulations relating to hotel reservation policies that went into effect in March 2012. 28 CFR § 26.302(e) provides that, among other things, hotels must:

–      modify their policies and practices to allow individuals with disabilities the opportunity to reserve accessible rooms in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms;

–       describe accessible features in the guest rooms so persons with disabilities can determine whether it meets their accessibility needs;

–       ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for persons with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented; and

–       reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms.

Theresa Brooke’s lawsuits allege that she was not able to reserve accessible rooms while using the defendant hotels’ online reservation platform.

It appears that, until now, only a handful of “online reservation” lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs over the years. Mrs. Brooke’s lawsuits are unique because she is an Arizona resident filing suit against Denver-area hotels in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

If she is successful in getting the federal court in Arizona to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state hotels, it is possible that Theresa Brooke—who has sued more than 550 hotels over the last 24 months—could file suit against thousands of hotels across the country without ever leaving Arizona.

While the Arizona legislature recently enacted tough legislation in an attempt to curb serial ADA litigants, that legislation only affects litigants who are asserting claims under the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA). Theresa Brooke isn’t bringing AzDA claims; she is choosing to litigate in federal court under the ADA so she is beyond the reach of state law.

A hotel facing a Theresa Brooke lawsuit should do is consult with an experienced and knowledgeable ADA defense attorney. Jennings Strouss has defended dozens of hotels in ADA lawsuits and regularly advises the hospitality industry on ADA compliance measures.


Leavitt_Lindsay_99x135px_webMr. Leavitt represents and advises small and mid-size businesses in employment, landlord/tenant, and general litigation matters. He often serves as a de facto general counsel to business owners, providing practical advice on a variety of legal issues.

Mr. Leavitt’s appreciation for small businesses is due, in part, to his own family’s entrepreneurialism. His father, brother and wife are all small business owners, providing him with first-hand knowledge of the issues small businesses face, enabling him to better provide clients with real-world and cost-effective solutions. Mr. Leavitt also serves as Chair of the firm’s Food, Beverage, and Hospitality industry group.

Mr. Leavitt can be reached at  602.262.5825 or


Legal Disclaimer

Please note that the materials contained within this web site have been prepared by Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. for informational purposes only so that readers may learn more about the firm, the services it provides the background of its attorneys, and recent developments in the law. These materials do not constitute, and should not be considered, legal advice, and you are urged to consult with an attorney on your own specific legal matters. Transmission of the information contained in the Jennings, Strouss & Salmon web site is not intended to create, and receipt by the reader does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon or any of its individual attorneys. While we would certainly like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Please do not send us any information about a matter that may involve you until you receive written authorization to do so from one of our attorneys. Unless otherwise indicated in individual attorney biographies, attorneys resident in the firm's various offices are not certified by the Board of Legal Specialization or a similar body of any State. This site may contain hyperlinks to Web sites operated by parties' independent from Jennings, Strouss & Salmon. Such hyperlinks are provided for your reference only. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon does not control such Web sites, and is not responsible for their content. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon's inclusion of hyperlinks to such Web sites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such Web sites or any association with their content. Your access and use of such sites, including information, material, products, and services therein, shall be solely at your own risk. Further, because the privacy policy of this Site is applicable only when you are on this Site, once linked to another Web site, you should read that site's privacy policy before disclosing any personal information.