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Who is responsible for California accessibility codes violation even though City's final inspection has passed?

San Jose, CA |

Contractor reconfigured a commercial bathroom in order to meet accessibility codes. He had to reconfigure it because the dimensions of the existing bathroom on the plans were wrong. City inspector passed it during final inspection, inadvertently overlooking a few accessibility code violations that arose from the reconfiguration. Who would be responsible if a handicapped person discovers the violations and files a lawsuit against the owner?

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Attorney answers 2


While it may not seem fair, there are immunities in the Califoria Government Code for negligent inspections. Therefore, the City would not be liable. The property owner's recourse would be against the contractor. The policy reason is that ciities are not guarantors of the contractors work.


Ultimately, the property owner is responsible for making sure his property is accessible. Sometimes the responsibility can be passed on to a tenant. In your case, the contractor might have some liability.
The City, however, would not be, even if the inspector did not catch everything.
When ADA lawsuits are filed, they typically name the building owner and any tenant.

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