Operation Splash & Furious: Justice Department Orders Public Pool Owners to Install Elevators

DoJ: Going off the deep end is our business!

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A new regulation goes into effect today. As with most regs, trial lawyers will benefit, businesses will lose money, pools will end up being closed, and the overall cost will be passed along to you on your next hotel bill. What would we do without Team Obama championing the cause of helping out the middle class?

From the Weekly Standard:

A new regulation from the Justice Department will require “public-access swimming pools across the country to install handicapped-accessible ramps and lifts or face a fine of up to $100,000,” the Hill reports. This regulation could cost “hotels and other organizations . . . to spend up to $9,000 to stay in compliance with the rule.”

The elevators must be permanent structures, not portable ones, though many hotels across the country only realized this “clarification” to the Justice Department’s regulation recently. Hotel operators, especially, are now scrambling to be in compliance.

The regulation itself falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Some believe the big winner in this new rule is trial lawyers. As the Washington Examiner reports, “the ADA … empowered citizens to sue businesses that are not in compliance with DOJ guidelines.” So any hotel—or public pool operator—not in compliance with the Justice Department’s mandate will possibly face legal action.

Not only that, but trial lawyers will be aided by the inevitable “law of unintended consequences.” For example, these lifts will be enticing toys for kids to play with. When somebody gets hurt, or worse, who will get sued? The DoJ? Of course not, though that’s not a bad idea.

If I owned a public pool and was already operating on a tight budget that couldn’t handle a $10,000 hit, plus the inevitable maintenance issues and regulatory red tape, I’d shut down the pool (like many will do) and put up a sign reading “Closed due to excessive Obama-sponsored regulation.”