A federal appeals court has ruled that a disabled person has standing to sue a hotel for failing to provide accessibility information, even though she does not intend to stay there.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Boston ruled for Deborah Laufer in an Oct. 5 opinion. The Article III standing issue has divided federal appeals courts, the 1st Circuit noted.

Laufer uses a wheelchair and a cane to move around. She can’t walk more than a few steps without help, the appeals court said. She also has limited use of her hands and is vision impaired. She is a self-proclaimed “tester” for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and has filed hundreds of ADA-related suits.

Laufer claimed an ADA violation in her suit against Acheson Hotels, which operates the Coast Village Inn and Cottages in a small Maine town. She couldn’t find accessibility information when she visited Acheson Hotels’ website and didn’t see such information when she visited third-party booking websites for the company.

An ADA regulation requires hotels to identify accessible features of their properties “with respect to reservations made by any means.”

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