Federal Judge Challenges Nuisance ADA Lawsuits 

Most business owners/landlords are well aware of the cottage industry of nuisance ADA lawsuits. But a federal judge in San Francisco has heard enough. 

Acting on his own initiative, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria has ordered three disabled plaintiffs and their lawyers to prove they are entitled to bring their lawsuits in federal court.

Because the plaintiffs brought their federal claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the plaintiffs must have legal “standing,” which requires that they genuinely expect to return to the places they experienced discrimination.

An attorney has slammed dozens of San Jose businesses with lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The unusual orders require the plaintiffs and their lawyers to submit declarations under the penalty of perjury that prove they genuinely intend to return to the places that were inaccessible when they first visited.

The orders follow an April 11 civil lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court jointly initiated by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles accusing Potter Handy of filing hundreds of fraudulent lawsuits under the ADA.

The district attorneys allege that Potter Handy was aware that their clients did not have legal standing to bring the cases in federal court, but the firm filed the cases anyway. The suit seeks an order that, among other things, would require the firm to repay the amounts that defendants have paid to settle the allegedly fraudulent suits over the last four years.

Two of the three disabled plaintiffs identified in the nine orders use wheelchairs for mobility. Both are frequent ADA litigators in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Chhabria gave the plaintiffs and their counsel 21 days to respond to the court’s directives.

You can almost hear business owners cheering this northern Californian action. But legal disputes are EVERYWHERE. So when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business, including landlord/tenant matters, contracts, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, just call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!  

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