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(Fox 40 Sacramento)   Ford's Real Hamburgers, 50 year-old landmark, shut down by ADA and activist attorney because he couldn't give a crap   (fox40.com) divider line 426
    More: Sad, ADA, attorney-in-fact, activists  
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19950 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Sep 2012 at 1:46 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-30 02:58:45 PM

feckingmorons: The lawyer didn't request reasonable accommodation, he threatened to sue and offered to settle for thousands of dollars.


Bullies only stop when they get stood up to.

The business owner should hire an engineer and say to this guy "ok, your turn. hire your engineer"

And being a popular burger shop in an area surrounded by professionals, I'm sure the business owner has a buddy friend engineer who likes his burgers and would be sufficiently motivated for some sort of trade of services.
 
2012-09-30 03:00:18 PM

GAT_00: While I don't approve of this guy's approach, that doesn't mean that the law should be tossed.


Of course, the interesting aspect is that the lawyer who sued makes his money by extorting the owners and tossing the lawsuits.

How come the bar, other lawyers, the local DA aren't working to throw his ass into the street?

How is what he is doing ethical?

Oh wait, here's Theaetetus the patent lawyer to white knight the ADA lawyer.
 
2012-09-30 03:01:30 PM

bubo_sibiricus: feckingmorons: Even if the restaurant were remodeled the serial ADA lawsuit filer's lawsuit would still remain

No. No it wouldn't. It would become mooted.

And it would get dismissed if the accomodations were shown to be burdensome, which can be easily done with a consultation with an engineer. A summary judgment as a matter of law.


Mooted? What are you talking about.

If I punch you in the head and you sue me the lawsuit does not go away if I agree to stop punching you in the head.

The guy suing the restaurant is offering to settle before filing a suit because he, not the general public, was unable to use the bathroom. He is bringing the lawsuit himself, it is not some qui tam action.
 
2012-09-30 03:01:35 PM
LOLCRIPPLESAMIRITE
 
2012-09-30 03:02:10 PM

zamboni: Darth_Lukecash: /was overwieght am atheist and handicapped. First two are choices. Last one is not.

Being an atheist isn't a choice.

Is accepting that 2+2=4 a choice?

Is accepting that gravity exists a choice?

Is accepting that the earth isn't flat a choice?

Is accepting that the sun revolves about the sun a choice?

So, no, accepting that there is no reason to believe in any god isn't a choice.

Unless, of course, you want me to be a liar.


No, you are following your own logic. I agree with you in fact.

But you chose follow that philosophy. Just as most religious people chose their own.
 
2012-09-30 03:03:49 PM
www.bundyology.com
 
2012-09-30 03:04:03 PM

RoyBatty: GAT_00: While I don't approve of this guy's approach, that doesn't mean that the law should be tossed.

Of course, the interesting aspect is that the lawyer who sued makes his money by extorting the owners and tossing the lawsuits.

How come the bar, other lawyers, the local DA aren't working to throw his ass into the street?

How is what he is doing ethical?

Oh wait, here's Theaetetus the patent lawyer to white knight the ADA lawyer.


Hey, it's Roy, my personal stalker! Hi, Roy! How's my trash smelling today? Found anything good in my bushes?
 
2012-09-30 03:04:19 PM

Theaetetus: Ford's owners say the lawsuit they are facing for their ADA problems was brought by Scott Johnson, a local attorney who makes a living by bringing these types of cases - often on his own behalf... "Being a quadriplegic," Johnson said of himself during that interview, "there's nothing I can do about that. But these businesses that have structural barriers to access, that's frustrating."

Jerry Silvia said he doesn't feel like Johnson is working on his behalf.

"No. He's strictly crusading on his own behalf," Silvia said.

What?! That's horrible, Mr. Silvia! To think that he's using your name on his lawsuit, pretending to be your lawyer, and is not actually working on your behalf! You should fire him!

Oh, wait, he doesn't work for you? And you're not even in the suit? Then quit whining. It's not all about you.


But he is using the fact that all disabled people can't get into the bathroom, or at least many disabled people can't as a cudgel to force businesses to pay him. Who wants to be known as the business that won't help disabled people?

He uses the force of law to extort these business I believe. He doesn't want them to remodel their restaurant for him, he wants them to remodel their restaurant for all disabled people - except he really doesn't want them to do anything but send him a check.
 
2012-09-30 03:05:20 PM

OrygunFarker: ArkAngel: Azlefty: 1. The Attorney is a scumbag

2. He makes a whole 5K off these lawsuits- ADA is a damage limited claim

3. the ADA law has been around for OVER TWENTY YEARS!

4. I really do not have much sympathy for a supposed businessman who is too fricking stupid to figure out how to comply with a law that not only in the news constantly because of these assh*le vultures but is old enough to drink!

A few months back the SF Chronicle did an article about these poor business people that rent a place and open their shop without checking for ADA compliance and how unfair it was for them to get nailed for not doing their due diligence

In the 90s I was a corporate monkey, part of my job duties was to go around the region and insure our locations were in compliance, many of the requirements actually had a time frame to comply, most though were simple like door knobs and faucet handles. 

ADA is so simple even an MBA can do it.

You're a fool. ADA compliance, depending on the size and age of the place, can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes it's just plain impossible without complete destruction of the restaurant (i.e. the original Squeeze Inn in Sacramento, CA or Frank's Diner in Kenosha, WI, older small restaurants built long before this law existed).

In California, lawsuits of this nature are filed under the Unruh Act, which allows $4,000 in damages per violation along with attorney's fees (which is extra profit for lawyers like this who file lawsuits themselves). Note that this damage limit applies for every single time they visit a business and can apply if the mirrors are even half an inch too high. How would you like to have to spend $50,000 because in fines and attorney's fees because this guy said your mirror was too high? And as it turns out, the guy filing suit didn't even come there to buy anything. He just wanted to see if he could sue you.

So, pay $50,000 in fines and look like a whiny biatch, or spend $50,000 to become ADA co ...


Umm.....that's not what he was talking about.

He was talking about being sued for an assload of money just because of miniscule details that about nobody pays any attention to. You know, kind of like what this waste-of-space lawyer does.
 
2012-09-30 03:05:31 PM

Tellingthem: Maybe but a lot of it comes from a few lawyers who specialize in these lawsuits. They are pretty common here in San Diego. A lawyer will go into a community just to look for lawsuits. A handicapped sign too old? lawsuit. A Bathroom rail too low? lawsuit. a lot of these lawsuits are not about accessibility but about very minor violations in the the law. It is easier to settle with the lawyer for a few grand than to fight in court.


No, it's this same guy. He just does it a lot - that's how he makes a living.
 
2012-09-30 03:05:39 PM

Theaetetus: RoyBatty: GAT_00: While I don't approve of this guy's approach, that doesn't mean that the law should be tossed.

Of course, the interesting aspect is that the lawyer who sued makes his money by extorting the owners and tossing the lawsuits.

How come the bar, other lawyers, the local DA aren't working to throw his ass into the street?

How is what he is doing ethical?

Oh wait, here's Theaetetus the patent lawyer to white knight the ADA lawyer.

Hey, it's Roy, my personal stalker! Hi, Roy! How's my trash smelling today? Found anything good in my bushes?


Oh? How have I stalked you counselor? Or are you just lying through your teeth again because you have no argument to present?
 
2012-09-30 03:06:39 PM

GAT_00: violentsalvation: GAT_00: Tellingthem: Also nothing in the article or comments has anyone said they want to toss the entire law. I think you are just reading way more into this than what it is.

Oh come on, you know these people. They don't have the mentality to fix something. Something goes wrong they always want to toss everything, start completely over, like that fixes everything. Read between the lines and remember who the angry people in here are.

That isn't what I'm seeing, people are complaining about what the law allows lawyers to do to small businesses. And if you took some people off ignore you might see that. They want the law scrapped the same as you want every historic building demolished and rebuilt into wheelchair accessible communes, as long as we're putting up strawmen.

If you're referring to one farking moron, he contributes nothing and I see no reason to bother with him.


It sounds like you put a lot of people on ignore, so who is the moron here? The one who assumes only one person is being ignored that disagrees with him? The one who puts people on ignore because he can't stand to hear a dissenting argument? How about the one who still won't accept that possibly, the demands of the 22-year old ADA law can't be dealt with by a pre-existing building?

I think we all know who the farking moron is, except for one.

/Going to end up on GAT_00's ignore list too.
//But then, he would only be further proving my point.
 
2012-09-30 03:07:24 PM

bubo_sibiricus: feckingmorons: The lawyer didn't request reasonable accommodation, he threatened to sue and offered to settle for thousands of dollars.

Bullies only stop when they get stood up to.

The business owner should hire an engineer and say to this guy "ok, your turn. hire your engineer"

And being a popular burger shop in an area surrounded by professionals, I'm sure the business owner has a buddy friend engineer who likes his burgers and would be sufficiently motivated for some sort of trade of services.


You seem to want everyone to work for free. A buddy engineer, free lawyers to defend this frivolous lawsuit. Does anyone in your world work, or do they all live off the government?

You seem to want to share the fruits of everyone's labors but the guy who filed suit. If the engineer trades his services for burgers, do they farmers and ranchers have to provide free lettuce, tomato and beef for the burgers?

Who else is on your pro bono plan to defend lawsuits from this clown?
 
2012-09-30 03:07:27 PM

Theaetetus: Oh wait, here's Theaetetus the patent lawyer to white knight the ADA lawyer.

Hey, it's Roy, my personal stalker! Hi, Roy! How's my trash smelling today? Found anything good in my bushes?


At least when people tell GAT_00 he's being stupid again, GAT_00 doesn't call them all stalkers and complain to the modmins.
 
2012-09-30 03:08:36 PM

feckingmorons: Theaetetus: Ford's owners say the lawsuit they are facing for their ADA problems was brought by Scott Johnson, a local attorney who makes a living by bringing these types of cases - often on his own behalf... "Being a quadriplegic," Johnson said of himself during that interview, "there's nothing I can do about that. But these businesses that have structural barriers to access, that's frustrating."

Jerry Silvia said he doesn't feel like Johnson is working on his behalf.

"No. He's strictly crusading on his own behalf," Silvia said.

What?! That's horrible, Mr. Silvia! To think that he's using your name on his lawsuit, pretending to be your lawyer, and is not actually working on your behalf! You should fire him!

Oh, wait, he doesn't work for you? And you're not even in the suit? Then quit whining. It's not all about you.

But he is using the fact that all disabled people can't get into the bathroom, or at least many disabled people can't as a cudgel to force businesses to pay him.


He's not suing under a class action statute. There was a disabled person who couldn't get into the bathroom, and that's all the suit requires.

He uses the force of law to extort these business I believe. He doesn't want them to remodel their restaurant for him, he wants them to remodel their restaurant for all disabled people - except he really doesn't want them to do anything but send him a check.

Except that they can also remodel their restaurant and tell him that they've made the necessary accommodations and his suit is moot. He can only claim damages if they had notice and disregarded it.

For example, this guy acknowledges they he took a year after getting a letter to repaint hash marks. I don't see anyone complaining that the first they heard of Johnson was a lawsuit landing on their door.
 
2012-09-30 03:08:48 PM

bubo_sibiricus: >What is he lying about? Is he lying that he can't afford to defend a lawsuit

Yes. I'm saying he is lying that if the cost is burdensome to come into compliance, he is lying. The law exempts burdensome accomodations. Read the fecking law.

I am also calling him a liar, because one of the people defending the owner also says that this guy gets a *lot* of traffic from the community college and surroundings. So yes, he can afford it. Either that or he's a liar, or a bad businessman. Take your pick. I'm going to go with liar.


I'd love to know where you're getting this idea that if the cost is excessive the owner need not comply. Can you direct me to the section of ADA that allows non-compliance for cost reasons only. Most parts of the law I've seen only exempt accommodations that cannot STRUCTURALLY be made--I have been unable to find the section you're citing so vigorously that says exemptions exist for monetary issues. I know that in IDEA/504 compliance, cost CANNOT be the only reason for allowable exemptions, so I'm surprised the ADA, which is merely an extension of 504, allows such a waiver.

Please let me know where you found this striking exception.
 
2012-09-30 03:09:30 PM
Keep in mind that this is a double damage the owner is facing here. He's not shutting down JUST because he can't afford the cost of construction.......
He also has the other expense of defending himself against this suit, whether or not he could afford the construction.
 
2012-09-30 03:10:10 PM
I am a highway design engineer, and last summer took a course in ADA compliance as it relates to highways. Specifically, sidewalks, street access and curb ramps.

One of the instructors was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. He told us that ADA wasn't an optional law that even states or cities could ignore, much less private businesses. As an example, he gave us Sacramento, CA. It seems that a disabled pedestrian asked the town to make certain crosswalks safer for her to use, by installing up to date curb ramps, raised markings, and larger signs. She was rudely told the money wasn't there, too bad for her, now go away.

She sued the City for ADA negligence. The courts agreed, and ordered Sacramento to spend ONE THIRD of their annual highway budget on making their streets ADA compliant, for as long as it took. Had the town told her "yes, we're aware of the need at that intersection, and it's on our list for improvements", she could have sued until the cows came home and nothing would have happened. But, just saying "no, go away" is NOT an option with dealing with ADA.

Curb ramps, for example, have gone from a simple inset within a sidewalk to a complicated design that is often unique to the specific intersection, and on large projects could have several pages of curb ramp details for all the various situations. The instructor told us if a town has a plan for upgrading the intersections to the new curb ramp details, that's just fine. But, if the town hasn't been spending any money on ramp upgrades for years, and have lots of the old noncompliant ramps out on the streets? That's a potential lawsuit just waiting to happen.

For a business, they have to demonstrate to the court that complying with ADA is so expensive and disruptive to totally ruin them. Even then, often the courts can require partial compliance to ADA, or require the business to budget funds for eventual compliance within a fixed period of time.

The point is, if you have a business or a building or a property where the public is welcome, you'd better make DAMN sure that you have adequate access for disabled people as well as everyone else, or you'd better have a very good reason why you don't (as in, if I met all the ADA requirements I'd go bankrupt, and show your math).
 
2012-09-30 03:10:13 PM

RoyBatty: Theaetetus: RoyBatty: GAT_00: While I don't approve of this guy's approach, that doesn't mean that the law should be tossed.

Of course, the interesting aspect is that the lawyer who sued makes his money by extorting the owners and tossing the lawsuits.

How come the bar, other lawyers, the local DA aren't working to throw his ass into the street?

How is what he is doing ethical?

Oh wait, here's Theaetetus the patent lawyer to white knight the ADA lawyer.

Hey, it's Roy, my personal stalker! Hi, Roy! How's my trash smelling today? Found anything good in my bushes?

Oh? How have I stalked you counselor? Or are you just lying through your teeth again because you have no argument to present?


Roy, you know as well as I that we're not supposed to have any contact. I'm going to stop talking to you so that you don't get in any more trouble.
 
2012-09-30 03:10:19 PM

RoyBatty: How come the bar, other lawyers, the local DA aren't working to throw his ass into the street?


Because what he is doing is perfectly legal.

Laws were proposed in California to stop this egregious exploitation of the law, however the Democrat controlled state legislature killed them. The trial lawyers donate a great deal to them and they want to keep those contributions coming.
 
2012-09-30 03:11:25 PM

Theaetetus: HotWingAgenda: Holy shiat, I just remembered where I've heard of this asshole before. He doesn't just do this in Sacramento, he travels on "vacation" to hotels throughout California looking for old structures that were built before things like wheelchair ramps were invented. I know of at least one super old historical hotel in San Diego that he has sued.

And if instead he represented locals who went to those hotels and had access issues, you'd be cheering him on? Come on, don't be a hypocrite.


Actually, I would. If there was any reason to believe this guy was trying to improve the lives of anyone other than himself, I'd support him. It can't have been easy to attend law school and pass the pair with his disability. But he really does just go around using his bar certificate to shake down small businesses, on his own behalf. And in the process, he's actually generating negative public opinion about an important sector of consumer protection litigation.

He needs to be stopped before he files some horrible case that results in ADA getting overturned or severely gutted.
 
2012-09-30 03:12:40 PM

OrygunFarker: jabelar: OrygunFarker: So, pay $50,000 in fines and look like a whiny biatch, or spend $50,000 to become ADA compliant and continue growing your business.

You sir, sound like the tool.

Dude, you have total logic fail as there are other options which are more likely and practical.

There is also:
c) go out of business because you can't do either
d) change the law so you only have to come up to compliance when business changes ownership or you remodel significantly.


To me, C would be the optimal outcome. Since this fella can't figure out how to secure a low interest small business loan, maybe he should be selling off his business and allow a successful business person to purchase the location and turn it around.


Do you own a business that has tried to get a loan lately? Good luck with that, banks just don't want to loan with the current interest rates unless you prove to them you don't need the money anyway.
 
2012-09-30 03:13:16 PM
I was injured in Iraq and need a cane to walk, and stairs hurt. That said, I think the lack of a grandfather clause for the ADA was stupid and just fed the lawyers. It quickly became about 'punishing businesses' rather than 'fixing the problem.' If an old building only has stairs, I think it's damn arrogant of me to say they should have to put in an elevator that will cost more than the business makes in a year just so that I can go to the upstairs patio.
 
2012-09-30 03:13:59 PM
WE ARE HOLIER THAN THOU AND WE ALONE LOOK OUT FOR THE CRIPPLED AND THE ORPHANS AND THE DOWNTRODDEN SO YOU JUST STOP MAKING A LIVING WITH YOUR FASCIST HAMBURGERS AND YOU SIGN THIS CHECK!

America has become a nation of whiners, thieves, entitled douchebags and slimy bastards in suits who have make believe jobs, skimming as living off of catering to them.

Food truck? Old burger joint? Public urban park? NO BATHROOM! SHUT IT DOWN! For Justice!

We've run out of ideas and one of the few ways we have left to move money around is to write laws that allow people to take yours away. That's not even reprehensible. That's Soviet.
 
2012-09-30 03:14:46 PM

bubo_sibiricus: >What is he lying about? Is he lying that he can't afford to defend a lawsuit

Yes. I'm saying he is lying that if the cost is burdensome to come into compliance, he is lying. The law exempts burdensome accomodations. Read the fecking law.

I am also calling him a liar, because one of the people defending the owner also says that this guy gets a *lot* of traffic from the community college and surroundings. So yes, he can afford it. Either that or he's a liar, or a bad businessman. Take your pick. I'm going to go with liar.


I seriously hope you find yourself on the wrong end of a zealous government regulator or trolling ADA or patent attorney in the very near future.
 
2012-09-30 03:14:47 PM
The ADA has a good purpose but has become a tool for serial plaintiffs and unethical attorneys to drive out of existence many businesses that the plaintiffs would not otherwise have ever visited - all for a relatively small damage award. Perhaps it could be re-written to provide no penalties but to provide an annual tax break for businesses who certify the compliance of their facilities through an independent audit process with audit fees capped.
 
2012-09-30 03:16:03 PM

feckingmorons: The law is so onerous that businesses such as the one in this article, are often forced to close rather than spend the time, money and effort to engage lawyers, architects, and engineers to fight spurious lawsuits such or invest in renovations to comply with regulations that may not even apply to them but which they simply can't determine without spending as much money on experts as construction.


As someone who was once on the engineering end of things (working on a multi-million dollar federally-funded project that put ADA-compliant sidewalk and sidewalk ramps on roads in a city whose streets were, in fact, too steep for anyone to push a wheelchair up; and in fact, many varieties of powerchairs would not have the battery power or would be slightly unbalanced due to the slope of streets in this town), I'd like to point out to people that some architects and engineers are making a KILLING off of these laws and lawyers. Sometimes, they'll even visit establishments, look for egregious problems, then begin the process on their own (either talking to a lawyer or a business owner). Yes, because of the kind of money being flashed around, I'd almost bet that these "professional" (you know, like the mafia) services cost 25-50% more than they did 10-20 years ago.
 
2012-09-30 03:16:32 PM

Theaetetus: Except that they can also remodel their restaurant and tell him that they've made the necessary accommodations and his suit is moot. He can only claim damages if they had notice and disregarded it.For example, this guy acknowledges they he took a year after getting a letter to repaint hash marks. I don't see anyone complaining that the first they heard of Johnson was a lawsuit landing on their door.


Your own example proves that the 'suit is moot'
Johnson agreed to meet with Rubino to inspect the repainted parking space, but said he would still likely seek monetary damages.


The guy made the required changes (he repainted his handicapped parking spot) and yet the scumbag still wants money. How in the hell was he damaged by faint paint in a handicapped parking spot.

The lawyer claims to be enforcing the ADA, he is doing no such thing, he can't enforce the ADA any more than you or I can enforce handicapped parking laws. However the ADA allows him to sue for damages he incurred. If in settling the lawsuit the businesses agree to repaint something that is simply good business.

If the faint paint on the handicapped parking spot caused someone without a handicapped placard to park there the proper course of action is to ask the police to send someone around to give them a ticket or have the car towed. It is not to sue the place because the paint wasn't in just painted condition.

The guy is scumbag. You're mislead if you think he is doing any good for the disabled community.
 
2012-09-30 03:17:25 PM

HotWingAgenda: It can't have been easy to attend law school and pass the bar with his disability.


FTFM
 
2012-09-30 03:17:45 PM

Bhags: Keep in mind that this is a double damage the owner is facing here. He's not shutting down JUST because he can't afford the cost of construction.......
He also has the other expense of defending himself against this suit, whether or not he could afford the construction.


But that doesn't fit their view of things so they'll ignore that. Besides the guy can trade free hamburgers to his lawyer, engineer, architect, ADA consultant buddies to make it all moot.
 
2012-09-30 03:17:52 PM
Of course, most of the firms making the money are clearly the ones who are wetting their beaks with ADA-compliant public works projects. They know where the money is, and who will spend it.
 
2012-09-30 03:18:00 PM
1. Even as someone occasionally on crutches, I understand that old buildings aren't necessarily going to be fully compliant.

2. Reasonable accommodation should just mean that owners take all reasonable measures to help the disabled... in the case of this burger joint, it would mean that if they were going to remodel the bathroom, then they should make it compliant... I've worked in older buildings before where we've had to help people in wheelchairs get over a hump in the doorway, or come around from behind the counter because it was too high. In bigger retail establishments, sometimes we end up having to move fixtures on wheels so people in wheelchairs have comfortable space to navigate away from aisles.

3. This whole issue speaks more to the litigious nature of some jackasses than to the validity of the ADA.

4. In the interest of full disclosure, I've filed an ADA compliance complaint against a former employer... I worked at a sporting goods store, everyone in every department had stools to sit on, tucked away in various places. They took my stool away and nobody elses (I have MS), then explained to me that it was different for me because (exact quote) "you might actually need it, and we can't have that kind of image for our customers" by more than one manager.

In short, the litigants are dicks in this case, but the ADA is a valuable law in fighting the kind of discrimination that most reasonable people would have thought ended decades ago. Some changes might be needed to enhance the grandfathering clauses so small businesses don't go out of business, but even those changes will not make a difference unless we can get meaningful tort reform wherein litigants who file claims capriciously (as determined by the court) can be held responsible for defendant's costs.
 
2012-09-30 03:18:32 PM

The Face Of Oblivion: The ADA has a good purpose but has become a tool for serial plaintiffs and unethical attorneys to drive out of existence many businesses that the plaintiffs would not otherwise have ever visited - all for a relatively small damage award. Perhaps it could be re-written to provide no penalties but to provide an annual tax break for businesses who certify the compliance of their facilities through an independent audit process with audit fees capped.


It's not a 'small damage award.' Sure, the 'actual damages' limit is $4000 BUT it also includes "Lawyers fees." And gee look at this, the person bringing the lawsuit is a lawyer. That means $4000 in damages, plus $100/hour for the 8 hours a day he worked on the case for the past month, now it's $24,000 in fees plus the $4,000 damages.
 
2012-09-30 03:18:42 PM

bunner: America has become a nation of whiners, thieves, entitled douchebags and slimy bastards in suits who have make believe jobs, skimming as living off of catering to them.


Technically only 47%, that leaves us in the 53% who have to pay the bills.
 
2012-09-30 03:19:16 PM

Bendal: Curb ramps, for example, have gone from a simple inset within a sidewalk to a complicated design that is often unique to the specific intersection, and on large projects could have several pages of curb ramp details for all the various situations. The instructor told us if a town has a plan for upgrading the intersections to the new curb ramp details, that's just fine. But, if the town hasn't been spending any money on ramp upgrades for years, and have lots of the old noncompliant ramps out on the streets? That's a potential lawsuit just waiting to happen.


Heh. Every intersection has been torn up to have their curb ramps replaced with the new ones that have the yellow bumpy pad on them. I understand the need, but it's not like we were hearing stories of blind pedestrians stepping out in to traffic because they didn't feel the bumps. Hell, those bumps probably hinder moving a wheelchair through it, I know it does shopping carts(they have them at every grocery store here in front of the store when there is no curb between the parking lot and the store entrance)
 
2012-09-30 03:20:53 PM

firefly212: 1. Even as someone occasionally on crutches, I understand that old buildings aren't necessarily going to be fully compliant.

2. Reasonable accommodation should just mean that owners take all reasonable measures to help the disabled... in the case of this burger joint, it would mean that if they were going to remodel the bathroom, then they should make it compliant... I've worked in older buildings before where we've had to help people in wheelchairs get over a hump in the doorway, or come around from behind the counter because it was too high. In bigger retail establishments, sometimes we end up having to move fixtures on wheels so people in wheelchairs have comfortable space to navigate away from aisles.

3. This whole issue speaks more to the litigious nature of some jackasses than to the validity of the ADA.

4. In the interest of full disclosure, I've filed an ADA compliance complaint against a former employer... I worked at a sporting goods store, everyone in every department had stools to sit on, tucked away in various places. They took my stool away and nobody elses (I have MS), then explained to me that it was different for me because (exact quote) "you might actually need it, and we can't have that kind of image for our customers" by more than one manager.

In short, the litigants are dicks in this case, but the ADA is a valuable law in fighting the kind of discrimination that most reasonable people would have thought ended decades ago. Some changes might be needed to enhance the grandfathering clauses so small businesses don't go out of business, but even those changes will not make a difference unless we can get meaningful tort reform wherein litigants who file claims capriciously (as determined by the court) can be held responsible for defendant's costs.


This about sums it up.
 
2012-09-30 03:22:29 PM

bhcompy: Bendal: Curb ramps, for example, have gone from a simple inset within a sidewalk to a complicated design that is often unique to the specific intersection, and on large projects could have several pages of curb ramp details for all the various situations. The instructor told us if a town has a plan for upgrading the intersections to the new curb ramp details, that's just fine. But, if the town hasn't been spending any money on ramp upgrades for years, and have lots of the old noncompliant ramps out on the streets? That's a potential lawsuit just waiting to happen.

Heh. Every intersection has been torn up to have their curb ramps replaced with the new ones that have the yellow bumpy pad on them. I understand the need, but it's not like we were hearing stories of blind pedestrians stepping out in to traffic because they didn't feel the bumps. Hell, those bumps probably hinder moving a wheelchair through it, I know it does shopping carts(they have them at every grocery store here in front of the store when there is no curb between the parking lot and the store entrance)


That's interesting -- I thought the bumps were to stop wheelchairs and shopping carts, not to alert the blind.

Thank you!
 
2012-09-30 03:22:44 PM

Securitywyrm: That means $4000 in damages, plus $100/hour for the 8 hours a day he worked on the case for the past month, now it's $24,000 in fees plus the $4,000 damages.


In California, legal fees are generally closer to $500/hour. Unless it's a really good trial lawyer, in which case they bill $600 - $750.
 
2012-09-30 03:22:51 PM

GAT_00: jabelar: GAT_00: flucto: New construction must be in compliance? Sure, obvious.
No grandfathering existing structures? Stooopid.

Doesn't make much sense to pass a law promoting access when you also disqualify all existing buildings from having it applied to them.

Really? Most new laws should allow grandfathering, because people and businesses set up based on the old rules and it isn't fair to change the rules or cost structure of their business.

Imagine you built a house that was compliant to a rule, and then they changed the rules such that you had to significantly change it? How in any sense would that either be fair, or a valid way to implement new rules?

Businesses turn over often enough, and people like to remodel occasionally. So fairly quickly, even with grandfathering, most buildings will be brought up to new codes.

But forcing existing owners to comply to new rules that didn't exist when they set up their business plan just doesn't make any sense.

The ADA was passed 22 years ago. This isn't some new law.


Do you have Asperger's or something? I'm just curious.
 
2012-09-30 03:23:12 PM

Infobahn: Lived in Sacramento for a year, never heard of the place. Meh.

The ADA has been around for a very long time, suck it up owner and comply.



Yes, do exactly what you are told. There will be no dissent.


Yet people wonder why California is such an economic shiathole.
 
2012-09-30 03:24:00 PM

puffy999: GAT_00: jabelar: GAT_00: flucto: New construction must be in compliance? Sure, obvious.
No grandfathering existing structures? Stooopid.

Doesn't make much sense to pass a law promoting access when you also disqualify all existing buildings from having it applied to them.

Really? Most new laws should allow grandfathering, because people and businesses set up based on the old rules and it isn't fair to change the rules or cost structure of their business.

Imagine you built a house that was compliant to a rule, and then they changed the rules such that you had to significantly change it? How in any sense would that either be fair, or a valid way to implement new rules?

Businesses turn over often enough, and people like to remodel occasionally. So fairly quickly, even with grandfathering, most buildings will be brought up to new codes.

But forcing existing owners to comply to new rules that didn't exist when they set up their business plan just doesn't make any sense.

The ADA was passed 22 years ago. This isn't some new law.

Do you have Asperger's or something? I'm just curious.


Oh man, he is going to put you on ignore now.
 
2012-09-30 03:25:39 PM

srtpointman: This little cocksucker doesn't even use the services of the businesses he extorts. He went into the Sears Hometown store my wife used to work at. He rode in, went right to the bathroom and opened the door. Soon as he saw it was in compliance, he left and did the same at every other business in that shopping center. I've seen him rolling down the side of the road and have been tempted to plow into him. What's the worse that can happen? He won't be able to walk?


You'll get a lot of unwanted publicity....keys to the city, free meals at all the restaurants you go to, people wanting your autograph, women throwing themselves at you....
 
2012-09-30 03:25:48 PM

feckingmorons: Theaetetus: Except that they can also remodel their restaurant and tell him that they've made the necessary accommodations and his suit is moot. He can only claim damages if they had notice and disregarded it.For example, this guy acknowledges they he took a year after getting a letter to repaint hash marks. I don't see anyone complaining that the first they heard of Johnson was a lawsuit landing on their door.

Your own example proves that the 'suit is moot'
Johnson agreed to meet with Rubino to inspect the repainted parking space, but said he would still likely seek monetary damages.


That's the difference.
Make accommodations when you get the letter and the suit hasn't been filed yet? No suit, because it's moot.
Ignore letter and wait for lawsuit, then try to make the changes after the fact? Suit and damages.

The guy made the required changes (he repainted his handicapped parking spot) and yet the scumbag still wants money.

He didn't make the required changes for a year, and he waited until the suit was filed. At a minimum, the damages are filing costs of the suit - which, if he had just ponied up and painted the lines earlier, would never have been filed, hence it's reasonable to stick the guy with them.

If the faint paint on the handicapped parking spot caused someone without a handicapped placard to park there the proper course of action is to ask the police to send someone around to give them a ticket or have the car towed. It is not to sue the place because the paint wasn't in just painted condition.

I disagree - if I park in a parking spot and don't see any paint on it, then why should my car be towed or I get a ticket? How was I to know it was a handicapped spot? Magic? Worse yet, what am I supposed to do? Show up and paint lines? It's not even my parking lot. So, now I'm responsible for a parking ticket and I couldn't even do anything to avoid it? That's not fair.
 
2012-09-30 03:26:26 PM

Securitywyrm: I was injured in Iraq and need a cane to walk, and stairs hurt. That said, I think the lack of a grandfather clause for the ADA was stupid and just fed the lawyers. It quickly became about 'punishing businesses' rather than 'fixing the problem.' If an old building only has stairs, I think it's damn arrogant of me to say they should have to put in an elevator that will cost more than the business makes in a year just so that I can go to the upstairs patio.


Thanks for your service. I hope things get better for you in the future.
 
2012-09-30 03:29:34 PM
Seriously, I'd print up flyers with this guy's picture that says "do not allow this man in your establishment" and give them to small businesses. Paste it on the front window.
 
2012-09-30 03:29:42 PM

Bendal: ...
But, if the town hasn't been spending any money...


Oh, now I see what this is about. ;)

/actually appreciated Bendal's post
//doesn't stop me from being snarky
 
2012-09-30 03:31:01 PM

GAT_00: ADA compliance tends to be one of those things that get people hot and bothered for no reason I can imagine. The people who get pissed are almost never affected by it. I think they get mad because it's a clearly visible enforcement of the idea of equality for all.

Hell, some of these people would be happy making sure some people can't visit a business. How is that really all that different from putting a sign up that says 'no Negroes?' Fundamentally it is the same thing, and I've noticed often the same people who think we shouldn't make discrimination illegal are the biggest ADA bashers.


You fail to grasp the fact that life is unfair and no amount of laws will make it fair. The ADA has become a farce for example, the building I work in is putting in a separate "breast pumping room." Of 100 occupants in the building, 4 are female, two of which are lesbian, all are 35 years old or older, but by God the ADA says the building needs one so one will be built.
Couldn't the Ford thing have been solved with a rented Handicapped porta potty anyway?
 
2012-09-30 03:31:44 PM

Securitywyrm: I was injured in Iraq and need a cane to walk, and stairs hurt. That said, I think the lack of a grandfather clause for the ADA was stupid and just fed the lawyers. It quickly became about 'punishing businesses' rather than 'fixing the problem.' If an old building only has stairs, I think it's damn arrogant of me to say they should have to put in an elevator that will cost more than the business makes in a year just so that I can go to the upstairs patio.


ADA doesn't say they have to do that, though, unless that location is the ONLY place customers to that business can go to. On one of my highway projects, we wanted to build a scenic overlook on top of a hill near an interstate pull-off area. The grade to the overlook, though, was going to be very steep, up to 20% in some stretches, and to be ADA compliant the grade could not exceed 4%. Since we wanted very badly to build this overlook, we compromised and built two overlooks from this pull-off, one at the same elevation of the parking lot and the one on top of the hill. ADA compliance was met since disabled visitors had a scenic overlook, and everyone else could use either overlook as they chose.

For a business, "separate but equal" facilities for ADA purposes is perfectly acceptable. Having one ADA compliant meeting room, or one ADA compliant entrance, or one ADA compliant access to the 2nd floor, is very much ok. Unless the patio in your comment provides some kind of unique service to the public, then providing access to other parts of the building should be fine when it comes to meeting ADA requirements.
 
2012-09-30 03:31:55 PM

Securitywyrm: The Face Of Oblivion: The ADA has a good purpose but has become a tool for serial plaintiffs and unethical attorneys to drive out of existence many businesses that the plaintiffs would not otherwise have ever visited - all for a relatively small damage award. Perhaps it could be re-written to provide no penalties but to provide an annual tax break for businesses who certify the compliance of their facilities through an independent audit process with audit fees capped.

It's not a 'small damage award.' Sure, the 'actual damages' limit is $4000 BUT it also includes "Lawyers fees." And gee look at this, the person bringing the lawsuit is a lawyer. That means $4000 in damages, plus $100/hour for the 8 hours a day he worked on the case for the past month, now it's $24,000 in fees plus the $4,000 damages.


Right. I said "small damage award" to emphasize how little is in it for the plaintiffs and to underscore how unethical many plaintiff's ADA attorneys are.

/the legal profession as a whole is pretty bad, ethically, but that's an argument for another time
 
2012-09-30 03:31:59 PM

firefly212: 1. Even as someone occasionally on crutches, I understand that old buildings aren't necessarily going to be fully compliant.

2. Reasonable accommodation should just mean that owners take all reasonable measures to help the disabled... in the case of this burger joint, it would mean that if they were going to remodel the bathroom, then they should make it compliant... I've worked in older buildings before where we've had to help people in wheelchairs get over a hump in the doorway, or come around from behind the counter because it was too high. In bigger retail establishments, sometimes we end up having to move fixtures on wheels so people in wheelchairs have comfortable space to navigate away from aisles.

3. This whole issue speaks more to the litigious nature of some jackasses than to the validity of the ADA.

4. In the interest of full disclosure, I've filed an ADA compliance complaint against a former employer... I worked at a sporting goods store, everyone in every department had stools to sit on, tucked away in various places. They took my stool away and nobody elses (I have MS), then explained to me that it was different for me because (exact quote) "you might actually need it, and we can't have that kind of image for our customers" by more than one manager.

In short, the litigants are dicks in this case, but the ADA is a valuable law in fighting the kind of discrimination that most reasonable people would have thought ended decades ago. Some changes might be needed to enhance the grandfathering clauses so small businesses don't go out of business, but even those changes will not make a difference unless we can get meaningful tort reform wherein litigants who file claims capriciously (as determined by the court) can be held responsible for defendant's costs.



This, in spades.

If people truly are being disadvantaged, then that's what the ADA is for. It is NOT for strike suits, extortion and frivolous lawsuits because Counselor Asshat wants to make another $5000 this week. It's for people who say "No, you can't sit down on the job because what would the customers think?" or businesses who say "Yeah, we COULD remodel our bathrooms, we just don't feel like it." It does NOT exist so that even when a business is compliant a douchebag can say "Meh, I'm going to sue you anyway cuz I need the money, but if you pay me now, I won't sue."
 
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