Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Lawsuits

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Retailers, Restaurants, and other businesses are frequently the target of a rising tide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Lawsuits. Although some claims are exaggerated or outright fraudulent, the purpose of these lawsuits, accessibility for disabled individuals, is a valid one.

U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. recently issued a stern warning telling two ADA Plaintiffs attorneys that abuse of the Act and baseless claims would not be tolerated.

There have been a growing number of lawyers who have sued restaurants and other businesses in American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits for things like having too narrow aisles or entry ramps too steep. The problem for disabled persons is real. The problems with some of these lawsuits is that much of the language in each lawsuit was so similar, the judge called it virtually “boilerplate.”

Some ADA lawyers essentially churn out these claims one after another without bothering to do any real investigation or research. Federal Law mandates that restaurants and other businesses must make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities. The cases filed by the two attorneys were so similar as indistinguishable but for the copied-and-pasted names of the plaintiff and defendant. Despite such abuses, the Wright Law Firm is diligent when prosecuting or defending an ADA lawsuit.

In one instance, the plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a violation for an improperly-outfitted bathroom in a sandwich shop, only for the judge to later learn the sandwich shop didn’t even have a bathroom.

There were some recent lawsuits filed on behalf of a man who the lawyers said was an Irish citizen who used a wheelchair. Yet, the plaintiff never appeared at any court hearings, nor could the lawyers produce his phone number. They eventually told the judge he had permanently relocated to Ireland, causing the judge to question whether the man ever existed in the first place.

In two of the most questionable cases, a Brooklyn federal judge discussed the skills of Plaintiff’s counsel stating that their claims were disingenuous “at best,” and “at worst” had quite possibly violated the standards of professional conduct. The Judge then took the unprecedented move of ordering the two to stop filing such lawsuits.

We are successful in ADA matters because we have the respect of other attorneys in this field who know that we are “straight-shooters”, regardless of which side we represent.

For places of public accommodations, such as restaurants and retail stores, it’s an apt warning that if you are not in ADA compliance, a lawyer is likely willing to make a federal case of it.

The Wright Law Firm is a business law firm located in Midtown Manhattan—call (212) 619-1500 for a confidential consultation.

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