Predatory lawyers are seeking quick settlements in questionable cases
Unscrupulous law firms in states across the nation are using the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to shake down small-business owners for the most minor violations, mainly over parking lot compliance.
Numerous NFIB members have been stung by these ‘pay up and we’ll drop the suit’ scams. In some states, hundreds to thousands of cases have flooded state courts, filed by the same law firms (the ADA is a federal law that can be adjudicated in state court). No amount of embarrassment has curbed these drive-by lawsuits from being filed: A strip club sued by a minister, a dirt lot with no building or parking lot on it sued for an ADA violation, a business sued twice because the plaintiff forgot he had already sued a first time.
NFIB/Wyoming will work with the disability rights’ community and key legislators to develop laws that would allow the state’s attorney general to consolidate numerous cases into one, to require the named plaintiff be an actual victim of an ADA violation and not just anyone in state or out of state, and to establish a 30-day, notice-and-cure period allowing a business to come into compliance before any ADA-based lawsuit could be filed, or 60 days for businesses required to obtain a building permit or similar form of government approval in order to make the changes.
NFIB and its members are committed to ensuring that businesses are more accessible to the disabled. Unfortunately, however, frivolous lawsuits filed by unscrupulous trial attorneys and plaintiffs have had disastrous consequences on small businesses and have done nothing to improve access for the disabled.
If you’ve been the victim of an ADA shake-down lawsuit, please share your story with NFIB/Wyoming State Director Tony Gagliardi at 1-866-639-1846 or [email protected]