ICYMI: Serial ADA lawsuit filer striking Bay Area

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Here is a great example of why we need SB 1142, ADA Lawsuit Protection for Small Business Owners." -- Senator Moorlach

Serial ADA lawsuit filer striking Bay Area

By Matthias Gafni, The Mercury News
April 10, 2016  [Excerpts]

In November, Sameer Misson found out his family's Valero gas station had been sued for violating disability access laws...It cost him about $300, and he paid an access specialist to certify that his San Ramon Valley Boulevard service station was up to code.

Misson thought the problem was resolved, so he was shocked when he received a demand for a $25,000 settlement, which would only get higher if he didn't pay it immediately. That's when Misson first learned about Scott Johnson, owner of Disabled Access Prevents Injury Inc. 

Johnson, a Carmichael attorney who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair, has moved his focus from the greater Sacramento area to the East Bay and South Bay. Since October, he has sued 39 businesses in various cities and towns, including San Ramon, San Jose, Campbell, Pacheco and Pleasant Hill.

"These cases are all about attorney fees, not about ADA."

The lawsuits are all nearly identical in their wording. Welch said he focuses on mom-and-pop shops, and particularly vulnerable businesses.

"A disproportionate number of businesses sued by Scott Johnson are...owned by immigrants and minorities," Welch said.