Overlawyered » ADA filing mills http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:07:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 “Help the disabled by fixing ADA scams” http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/help-disabled-fixing-ada-scams/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/help-disabled-fixing-ada-scams/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:15:01 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=48318 The Sacramento Bee editorializes against the state’s well-established ADA racket, which has been going for many years now and is not being cleaned up through legislative reform because too many people find financial or ideological advantage in keeping things the way they are: California law puts a $4,000 fine on each violation and directed the […]

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The Sacramento Bee editorializes against the state’s well-established ADA racket, which has been going for many years now and is not being cleaned up through legislative reform because too many people find financial or ideological advantage in keeping things the way they are:

California law puts a $4,000 fine on each violation and directed the proceeds to “aggrieved” parties, even if they weren’t harmed or inconvenienced by the violation. A business could be sued for faded paint on an open handicapped parking spot, a ramp 2 degrees too steep, incorrect wording on a sign. A practiced eye can spot half a dozen violations most anywhere, and that’s a $24,000 jackpot for a scammer. …

ADA rules change constantly. Two years ago, signs next to handicapped parking spaces had to read “No parking.” Now, signs must warn that the fine is $250. That’s not a barrier to a disabled person, but still could be treated like one when it comes to fines. That’s ridiculous. If a business owner hasn’t put up a new sign, he should be given an opportunity to fix it before having to pay some lawyer $4,000.

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Disabled rights roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/disabled-rights-roundup-8/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/disabled-rights-roundup-8/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 04:05:58 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47944 Willingness of Connecticut courts to order accommodation of mental disorders is not limitless, as in case of “dazed and confused” teacher who “frequently reported to the wrong school or for the wrong class” [Chris Engler at Dan Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog; Langello v. West Haven Board of Education] “‘Seinfeld’ diner sued for not being […]

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  • Willingness of Connecticut courts to order accommodation of mental disorders is not limitless, as in case of “dazed and confused” teacher who “frequently reported to the wrong school or for the wrong class” [Chris Engler at Dan Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog; Langello v. West Haven Board of Education]
  • “‘Seinfeld’ diner sued for not being handicap-friendly” [NY Post] Florida lawyers descend on New Jersey to file ADA suits [N.J. Civil Justice Institute]
  • “Plaintiffs want to expand lawsuit against Disney for how it treats guests with autism” [Orlando Sentinel]
  • It’s “sad that we need a federal appellate court to remind us” that ADA’s protection of alcoholism does not actually immunize worker fired after repeatedly driving municipal employer’s vehicles drunk [Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer Law Blog]
  • “Employers beware: EEOC appears to be stepping up disability discrimination enforcement” [Hyman] EEOC sues Wal-Mart over firing of intellectually disabled employee [Rockford Register-Star, EEOC]
  • Nice crowd your ADA racket attracts, California [Modesto Bee]
  • Argument: Employers that use “emotional intelligence” measurement in evaluating job applicants may be violating ADA rights of those with autism [Michael John Carley, HuffPo]
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    Serial ADA plaintiff deported to Mexico http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/serial-ada-plaintiff-deported-mexico/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/08/serial-ada-plaintiff-deported-mexico/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:15:40 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47601 In an update on ADA filing mills more than two years ago we noted the case of Alfredo Garcia, one of the busy class of serial plaintiffs who’ve sued hundreds of California businesses demanding money for accommodations violations, often represented by attorney Morse Mehrban, a longtime Overlawyered favorite. Garcia has also been described as an […]

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    In an update on ADA filing mills more than two years ago we noted the case of Alfredo Garcia, one of the busy class of serial plaintiffs who’ve sued hundreds of California businesses demanding money for accommodations violations, often represented by attorney Morse Mehrban, a longtime Overlawyered favorite. Garcia has also been described as an “illegal immigrant and convicted felon,” and KABC Los Angeles says that after filing more than 800 lawsuits, Garcia has actually been deported:

    Based on previously disclosed settlements, Eyewitness News can estimate that Garcia has collected approximately $1.2 million from business owners since he began filing lawsuits in 2007.

    At the same time, Garcia applies for and receives fee waivers from the courts by claiming he is too poor to pay the court fees associated with the lawsuits. That means taxpayers pick up the tab. …

    [By 2010] he’d sued more than 500 businesses, including La Casita Mexicana in Bell. The restaurant owners were able to prove that Garcia had not been at their restaurant on the dates he claimed to have been there.

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    “I’ve talked to a lot of business people and they’re very afraid” http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/ive-talked-lot-business-people-theyre-afraid/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/ive-talked-lot-business-people-theyre-afraid/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 04:15:14 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46343 California law provides unusually favorable financial rewards for ADA complaints, and the state’s legislature has largely ignored years’ worth of pleas from small businesses for relief from serial complainants. So John Perez is no longer taking walk-in customers [Manteca Bulletin]: Ever since Carmichael-based lawyer Scott Johnson slapped civil rights lawsuits against at least 21 Manteca […]

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    California law provides unusually favorable financial rewards for ADA complaints, and the state’s legislature has largely ignored years’ worth of pleas from small businesses for relief from serial complainants. So John Perez is no longer taking walk-in customers [Manteca Bulletin]:

    Ever since Carmichael-based lawyer Scott Johnson slapped civil rights lawsuits against at least 21 Manteca businesses seeking punitive damages for allegedly being out of compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act access rules he’s been locking the front door to his South Main Street cabinet shop, Perez & Sons.

    Johnson (earlier on him here and here) has announced his intent to sue The Hair Company for at least $68,000 although owner Janice Ward says none of her handicapped customers have ever complained. “A good number of the targets of Johnson’s 3,000 lawsuits throughout Northern California over the years have been forced out of business.”

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    California ADA claims, cont’d http://overlawyered.com/2014/04/nbc-affiliate-california-ada-claims/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/04/nbc-affiliate-california-ada-claims/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 04:15:47 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=44948 The NBC affiliate in the Bay Area investigates “what some say is legalized extortion” (watch out for annoying can’t-mute, can’t-freeze auto-play ad). The report “reviewed more than 10,000 federal ADA lawsuits filed since 2005 in the five states with the highest disabled populations. More lawsuits have been filed in California than Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and […]

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    The NBC affiliate in the Bay Area investigates “what some say is legalized extortion” (watch out for annoying can’t-mute, can’t-freeze auto-play ad). The report “reviewed more than 10,000 federal ADA lawsuits filed since 2005 in the five states with the highest disabled populations. More lawsuits have been filed in California than Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and New York combined.” Among violations charged: “a mirror that was hung 1.5 inches too high, a disabled access emblem that was ‘not the correct size,’ and one that was ‘not at the correct height on a restroom door.’ …’Given the way the building codes change as often as they do, it’s virtually impossible [to be in full compliance]‘ certified access specialist Christina Stevens said.”

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    Disabled rights roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/disabled-rights-roundup-6/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/01/disabled-rights-roundup-6/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 04:05:40 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=42564 “US Airways has agreed to pay $1.2 million in fines because it provided inadequate wheelchair service at the Charlotte and Philadelphia airports” [Charlotte Observer, USA Today; on abuses of the right to request wheelchair service at airports, see links in our post last May] Support animals on airplanes, cont’d [NYT] In New York, indefinite leave […]

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  • “US Airways has agreed to pay $1.2 million in fines because it provided inadequate wheelchair service at the Charlotte and Philadelphia airports” [Charlotte Observer, USA Today; on abuses of the right to request wheelchair service at airports, see links in our post last May] Support animals on airplanes, cont’d [NYT]
  • In New York, indefinite leave of absence may be deemed a reasonable accommodation that employer is obliged to grant [Erin McPhail Wetty, Seyfarth] Per Second Circuit in NYC case, timely attendance not essential job function [Mark Kittaka, Barnes & Thornburg]
  • US disability rate fell 25 percent between 1977-87, then more than doubled [Tad DeHaven, Cato via Bryan Caplan] Has a Kentucky attorney found holes in the SSDI system? [Jillian Kay Melchior]
  • Per EEOC, employer may be obliged to grant employee’s request to work from home as reasonable accommodation [Johanna Wise, Seyfarth]
  • Lawprof suspended for allegedly yelling at subordinates sues under ADA [Althouse, Above the Law]
  • “None of the people who complained had even been into the store” [San Diego Reader]
  • And yet more from EEOC: employer “integrity testing” meant to assess applicants’ honesty, trustworthiness and dependability can run afoul of disabled-rights law [link]
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    Those nice people who file ADA suits http://overlawyered.com/2013/12/nice-people-file-ada-suits-california/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/12/nice-people-file-ada-suits-california/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:19:30 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=43193 Many of them aren’t so nice, especially in California which incentivizes access complaints with $4,000 minimum per-violation damages as well as entitlement to attorney’s fees. “According to [defense attorney James] Link, more than 3,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in L.A. County in the last three years — more than 1,700 of them by attorneys Morse […]

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    Many of them aren’t so nice, especially in California which incentivizes access complaints with $4,000 minimum per-violation damages as well as entitlement to attorney’s fees. “According to [defense attorney James] Link, more than 3,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in L.A. County in the last three years — more than 1,700 of them by attorneys Morse Mehrban of L.A. and Mark Potter of San Diego’s Center for Disability Access.” One of Potter’s prolific clients, Jon Alexander, formerly of Utah, might displace George Louie as the poster guy for controversial ADA litigants. [L.A. Weekly via Doherty]

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    Perennial ADA filer Scott Johnson gets into a spot of bother http://overlawyered.com/2013/05/perennial-ada-filer-scott-johnson-gets-spot-bother/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/05/perennial-ada-filer-scott-johnson-gets-spot-bother/#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 04:15:52 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=38635 Never mind the colorful if creepy harassment allegations lodged by four former staffers. For purposes of the future of California-based ADA filing mills, the more salient allegation against attorney Johnson is that he cut improper corners in his assembly-line generation of accessibility complaints. [The Recorder, ABA Journal, earlier] Tweet Tags: ADA filing mills

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    Never mind the colorful if creepy harassment allegations lodged by four former staffers. For purposes of the future of California-based ADA filing mills, the more salient allegation against attorney Johnson is that he cut improper corners in his assembly-line generation of accessibility complaints. [The Recorder, ABA Journal, earlier]

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    Disabled rights roundup http://overlawyered.com/2013/05/disabled-rights-roundup-4/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/05/disabled-rights-roundup-4/#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 04:05:28 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=37032 U.S. Department of Justice may soon issue regulations mandating disabled accessibility for websites, a truly awful idea [WSJ, N.C. Journal of Law and Technology, Alexander Cohen, Atlas; one advocate's view; our long-running coverage, and my two cents years back] Coming soon: 7% disabled-worker quota for federal contractors? [David Harsanyi, earlier here, here, etc.] “Disability Act […]

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  • U.S. Department of Justice may soon issue regulations mandating disabled accessibility for websites, a truly awful idea [WSJ, N.C. Journal of Law and Technology, Alexander Cohen, Atlas; one advocate's view; our long-running coverage, and my two cents years back]
  • Coming soon: 7% disabled-worker quota for federal contractors? [David Harsanyi, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • “Disability Act Charges and Awards Skyrocket” [Corp Counsel]
  • NYC: “Judge Raps Disability-Lawsuit Mill After ‘Client’ Disappears” [Daniel Fisher/Forbes, ABA Journal, John Andren/WLF, earlier on attorney Bradley Weitz]
  • W.D. Va.: farmers’ markets covered by ADA as “places of public accommodations” [Bagenstos]
  • Result under UK’s new version of ADA: teacher reinstated after arguing that mental disability caused him to keep student out drunk till 3 a.m. [Fox Rothschild]
  • Hey, let’s start constitutionalizing disabled rights! What could go wrong? [Michael Waterstone via Bagenstos]
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    Disabled rights roundup http://overlawyered.com/2013/03/disabled-rights-roundup-ii/ http://overlawyered.com/2013/03/disabled-rights-roundup-ii/#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2013 04:05:04 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=34766 California Supreme Court: fee shift in disabled-rights claim can go to winning defendant, not just plaintiff [Jankey v. Song Koo Lee, Bagenstos/Disability Law] That’s Olsen with an “e”: “Lawmaker wants to protect cities from frivolous lawsuits over A.D.A.” [California Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen; L.A. Times] “Gas stations confront disabled-access lawsuits” [Orange County Register] Serial ADA filer […]

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  • California Supreme Court: fee shift in disabled-rights claim can go to winning defendant, not just plaintiff [Jankey v. Song Koo Lee, Bagenstos/Disability Law]
  • That’s Olsen with an “e”: “Lawmaker wants to protect cities from frivolous lawsuits over A.D.A.” [California Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen; L.A. Times] “Gas stations confront disabled-access lawsuits” [Orange County Register] Serial ADA filer hits New Orleans [Louisiana Record] ADA drive-by suits in Colorado and elsewhere [Kevin Funnell]
  • And this lawyer follows a see-no-evil policy regarding ADA filing mills: “I refuse to pass judgment on other attorneys here.” [Julia Campins]
  • Child care center could not turn away applicant with nut allergy because Iowa disabled-rights law said to have expanded its coverage of categories when the U.S. Congress expanded ADA, though Iowa lawmakers enacted no such expansion [Disability Law]
  • Feds join in LSAT accommodation suit [Recorder]
  • Official in San Francisco’s mayoral Office on Disability files disability-bias claim [KGO]
  • “Testing employees for legally prescribed medications must be done carefully” [Jon Hyman]
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