If you are a landlord or a business owner of a restaurant, parking lot, retail store, etc. in California, you have probably been hit with a lawsuit claiming discrimination based on the Americans for Disabilities Act (“ADA”), California Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Disabled Persons Act, etc. Or worst yet, the plaintiff files a class action lawsuit based on one of these Acts without ever going to your business facilities and claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. The plaintiffs’ attorneys usually demand $2,500 to $10,000 to settle a single plaintiff case and much more for class action lawsuits. Most businesses settle quickly since they do not have the resources to fight these types of lawsuits. However, some businesses are put in a position where they have no choice but to fight back.
Tressler general business and real estate litigation attorneys, Judy Chiang and Karl Schlecht, were victorious with the plaintiff dismissing the lawsuit without the client having to pay anything in the case entitled, Anthony Golden v. Lizard in Los Angeles, LLC, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. 20STCV15206. In that case, Mr. Golden sued the landlord or the owner of the property. Mr. Golden alleged that he visited the defendant’s parking lot on three separate occasions but was unable to park due to ADA violations and accessibility issues. The plaintiff attempted to aggressively litigate the matter within 10 days of allegedly serving their client with the Summons & Complaint. The plaintiff even went as far as serving a deposition subpoena to their client’s lender, requesting private financial records. Finally, the plaintiff sent out weekly settlement demands, which ended up to be in the six figures on a small parking lot case with no building attached to it.
They fought back by conducting written discovery to ascertain Mr. Golden’s identity. After they were able to ascertain Mr. Golden’s identity, they conducted a background check of the plaintiff, Anthony Golden. It appeared that Mr. Golden did not have a driver’s license and lived down the street from the parking lot. This meant he never visited or attempted to park at the subject parking lot since he lived down the street. Also, public records show that he is on the California Megan’s Law Website and was convicted of the following CA Penal Code sections: (1) Section 288(a) for Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under 14 Years of age and (2) Section 288a(b)(1) for Oral Copulation with a Minor Under 18 Years of Age. Thereafter, they sent the background check information to Mr. Golden’s counsel, who dismissed the case right away without the client having to pay a dime.
This is an example of how landlords and business owners can be victorious against plaintiffs who file frivolous ADA lawsuits and not give in to the plaintiffs’ quick settlement demands. Tressler urges landlords and business owners to fight back and not give in to the plaintiffs’ demands and conduct background checks on the plaintiffs. Tressler attorneys can assist you in the defense of ADA cases.