‘Drive-By’ ADA Lawsuits Have Business Owners On Edge
Some Florida business owners say they feel under siege by private citizens who are aggressively filing lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Several small businesses in Ybor City, Fla. have been the targets of recent suits filed by one man — Kendrick Duldulao, an area doctor who uses a wheelchair. Since last fall, he’s filed 29 lawsuits alleging ADA violations ranging from counters that are too high to doors that are not wide enough at restaurants, convenience stores and even a local strip club.
Rather than give establishments an opportunity to fix problems, business owners say Duldulao demands that they settle financially — often for about $15,000 — or go to court.
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Duldulao doesn’t appear to be alone in his tactics. Elsewhere in Florida another man has filed over 200 ADA lawsuits since 2007. And nationally, the number of ADA lawsuits filed by non-employees is up 54 percent in the last two years, topping 1,900.
Advocacy groups refer to the suits as “drive-by” and question whether they actually help the community or just line the pockets of a few individuals. What’s more they say the suits can turn business owners against the ADA.
Supporters of the suits, however, say that after 20 years business owners should be in compliance with the law, reports The Tampa Tribune. To read more click here.