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(NYPost)   Wheelchair activist sues 39 shops in her neighborhood for not being handicapped-accessible because that's just how she rolls. "If you think this is a money-making scheme, you're dead wrong"   (nypost.com) divider line 86
    More: Asinine, Upper West Side, money-making, Linda Slone  
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11441 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Nov 2012 at 5:03 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-11-12 09:32:35 AM
12 votes:
Okay, this is going to be a long story but I promise you there is a point about the ADA. A point that needs to be made. I am one of the unfortunate disabled people in this country. In 2003 I had a workplace accident while working for BellSouth (now AT&T) as a service tech. I took a 20' fall from a telephone pole and broke my back. To this day I am in God awful pain and take morphine and perocet everyday to control it. As time as gone on my mobility has been comprismised by the inury and I am very limited in what I can do. However, after the accident I did everything I could to return to work. I couldn't accept the fact that I was now disabled and my working days were over. So, I went to physical therapy, worked on building my muscles up to support my spine and did the best I could to control and handle the pain. The pain never went away, but I "man upped" and took it.

By 2005 I was ready to try to work again. It was either that or apply for Social Security Disability. The only job I was qualified for was being a telephone tech. I had ten years with BellSouth and I was an expert at my job and one of the best techs that the company had if I do say so myself. My performance reviews were always stellar with comments like "OBBN is an outstanding employee and he is poised to be one of the leaders of the company". The point being I was very good at what I did and I was an asset to the company. So, I found out that AT&T was hiring Service Techs again and I rushed to get my application in, even calling everyone I knew to get me back into the door. It worked, I had my first interview with HR and they were very happy to have a former tech applying for the position. No training neccassary and I had a great history with them. I was very upfront about my disability. Everything was all set to go and the HR person told me that because I had been out of the company for more than two years I would have to take pole climbing school again. I told him that this would be a problem for I believed that I could do everything required of me (although I would have been in great pain, but that was my problem to deal with and I was willing to do so) however using gaffs to climb poles was too much for me with my injury. I told him that we both knew that pole climbing was rarely if ever used in the field and almost all the techs opted to use ladders instead of gaffing the pole. I told him that I was sure that I would be able to use a ladder without problem and I asked for a ADA accomodation. I asked that the pole climbing requirement be waived. He told me that he didn't know how to do that and set up a meeting with the second level (area manager). I met with the area manager, he was very impressed with me and with my history with the company, having pulled my file and having read my yearly evaluations and such. I explained to him that I had a disability that was reconized by the ADA and asked again for this simple accomodation. He turned to me and said "Pole climbing is the way we have done it since the beginning and all my techs will have to climb" ingnoring that fact that in real life almost none of the techs did so. He then said "Accomodation, no AT&T doesn't do that". I reminded him that the ADA was Federal Law and under that law a company is REQUIRED to make a reasonable accomodation for any employee or prospective employee. He told me basically tough shiat, that the company was not going to make an accomodation and that I was no longer hired.

Well, of course I was devestated. Here I had the chance to rebuild my life and my career and I was being denied the job because some ahole decided that Federal law was not applicable to him. So, I went looking for an ADA attorney (not as easy to find in Florida as you would think). I finally found one and he seemed like he knew his stuff, having been an attorney for the ADA at one time. We sat in his office and reviewed my case. I told him that my career was very important to me and there was nothing more in the world that I wanted than to return to being a telephone tech. He turned to me and asked me if he could be frank with me. He then said, "OBBN, you aren't going to get your job back, but I can get you $200 to $300k when we sue them". I replied that while that is a lot of money that as a tech I made close to $100k a year and I had a good 20 to 25 years of working left, not to mention I wanted to be a productive member of society. I told him that I wasn't really interested in a "settlement", but only interested in making AT&T follow the law and make an accomodation and give me the position that I was certainly the most qualified for. He once again told me that he would take my case but that he would not be attempting to get my job back. Left with little choice I told him if that is all we can do, I guess that is what we will have to do.

Well, I thought everything was set as he explained that the case was taken on a percentage basis, so there was no upfront cost to me. He would get 35% of whatever the compensation would be. He then went on to tell me that I had one of the strongest cases that he has seen. He explained that I was fully qualified for the job, that I had a reconized disability under the ADA requirements and most importantly the accomodation that I was seeking was not on reasonable, but that it would not cost the company a single penny or require them to do anything for me other than a clerical waiver. He was positive that we would prevail, giving me a 95% chance of victory. So far so good I thought. I might not be able to get my job back, but perhaps if I won the case I could maybe start a business with the funds, that way I would avoid having to go on disability and still be a contributing member of society. Then he dropped the bomb, while he would not be charging me up front to represent me I would have to come up with $30k to $40k up front to pay for "expert witnesses" These experts were to testify to my ability to do the job and to testify that AT&T would not be burdened by the accomodation.

To make this very long story short, I didn't have the money to pay the expert witnesses and there was no possible way for me to raise it. He told me basically tough luck, no money, no representation. So much for protection for the disabled in this country. And then it occured to me. Except for rare exceptions, no one involved with the ADA is doing it for the protection of those of us who are disabled. They are doing it for one thing and one thing only, the money. The experts are getting a big chunk of change to spend a 1/2 day in court and my attorney, the one who is supposed to be championing the poor disabled client stands to make $70k or more. No wonder he didn't want to fight for my job, he couldn't make the big bucks this way. He wasn't concerned in the least about my right to work or my need to make a living. That was not only not his concern, but he would not represent me if I insisted that the only thing i wanted was my job. He was only interested in representing me if I wanted a settlement.

So, sadly I never got to return to my career. Instead I applied for and was granted Social Security Disability. I now live on a very small (compared to what I was making) monthly benefit. Truth be told I probably would have ended up here no matter what as the pain is overwhelming and I don't think that there is any way that I could work 8 hours a day at any job. I take morphine everyday to try and control the pain and that by itself makes functioning very difficult. I can't stand for very long, nor can I sit for very long. I can do about anything I could before the accident, but only for a short amount of time. And then I pay for it that night in the form of excruciating pain that leaves me almost immobile. But that isn't the point. The point is that the ADA is a joke, that it is used for nothing more than to shake down money from companies. It provides no real protection for those of us that are disabled unless we have the financial means to hire experts to prove our case. I am here to tell you that most of us who are disabled don't have that kind of money. The injury or illness that put us here has taken a massive financial toll on us.

It is so very sad to see people like this wheelchair bound douchebag us the ADA as a cash cow while those of us who sought protection under ADA laws are left out in the cold. There needs to be a serious change in the way the ADA laws are enforced and the way that people in need of the ADA's laws have access to it. If there isn't money in it for the attorneys, then no one is interested in helping you.

I apologize for the very long post, but thought that some of you might find my prospective interesting. I am not looking for any sympathy (even if I was, I have been here long enough to know that this isn't the place to seek that ... cue the welcome to FARK picture). The majority of us who are disabled are not looking to game the system and line our pockets. This woman is an asshat of the first order and as one of you put it, perhaps we will get lucky and she will roll in front of a semi. Good Day to all!
2012-11-12 12:15:48 AM
10 votes:

keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations


Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.
2012-11-12 02:08:42 AM
9 votes:

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.


And the law allows for this. Unfortunately, you have to go to court and prove you are exempt from the ADA requirements, which means hiring a lawyer, paying for experts, site surveys, etc. Which is exactly how this scam works, the lawyer gives you two options:

A) Go to court and fight it, which will run you $30k at least, and there's still a chance you might lose depending on if the judge is an asshat or not.
B) Pay us $5k, or $10k or whatever, and we'll drop the lawsuit.

A good way around this would be a government inspector that gets called in only on these lawsuits to verify the integrity of the suit. Make it a flat $200 fee (or whatever), and if he says the business is clear, no lawsuit is allowed.
2012-11-12 03:55:06 AM
7 votes:
My friend has a motorized wheelchair. It's freaking big. When he travels around Chicago, he doesn't hold it against the stores that are in hundred of years old buildings that were not designed for him. Normally he doesn't go, or just have the guy running the place bring him out what he needs.
2012-11-11 10:04:48 PM
7 votes:
So the woman in the wheelchair sued the store that sells dance clothing and shoes? Why would she want to go there.

Of course it is money making. Somebody will push her in front of a dump truck soon enough.
2012-11-12 01:09:04 AM
6 votes:
If it's not about money, don't accept any money from them.
2012-11-12 05:39:42 AM
5 votes:

ShawnDoc: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.

And the law allows for this. Unfortunately, you have to go to court and prove you are exempt from the ADA requirements, which means hiring a lawyer, paying for experts, site surveys, etc. Which is exactly how this scam works, the lawyer gives you two options:

A) Go to court and fight it, which will run you $30k at least, and there's still a chance you might lose depending on if the judge is an asshat or not.
B) Pay us $5k, or $10k or whatever, and we'll drop the lawsuit.

A good way around this would be a government inspector that gets called in only on these lawsuits to verify the integrity of the suit. Make it a flat $200 fee (or whatever), and if he says the business is clear, no lawsuit is allowed.


Make the fee an even grand, and the inspection a condition of the suit (litigant pays). If they have enough of a case to proceed, they get it back win or lose, if they don't, bye $1k. They might think twice the next time and keep some of the frivolous suits out of the system.
2012-11-12 05:38:56 AM
5 votes:

Nogale: Eventually she'll run into a judge who is less than sympathetic to her tactics. Suing a business owner whose shop has actually been fitted out to grant access to the disabled? Bad move.


Some guy tried this in Chicago a number of years ago, but he farked up because he would just go down the street and write down the name and addresses of businesses that did not have ramps and would then try to sue them. Many of those businesses, however, had removable ramps. They were in vintage buildings and were given an exemption from having to install permanent ramps. These places usually had a single step up and the door bell could be reached by someone in a wheelchair. If this guy had rung the bell the employees would have brought out a ramp, set it up, and he could have entered the business. After some bad press coverage he stopped being a douche.
2012-11-12 05:22:57 AM
5 votes:
Eventually she'll run into a judge who is less than sympathetic to her tactics. Suing a business owner whose shop has actually been fitted out to grant access to the disabled? Bad move.
2012-11-11 11:27:10 PM
5 votes:
This is a self-respecting "person"?

I thought she was just a greedy, lazy, self-conscious biatch.

Frankly, she shouldn't even come out of her house because she deserves nothing but ridicule, mockery, and scorn. May her brakes go out and she rollolololol into the nearest river.
2012-11-12 05:21:18 AM
4 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: We as a society are judged by how we treat the lowest among us.


And we're treating them too damned good.
2012-11-11 11:09:00 PM
4 votes:

emonk: The ADA was created and made into law by lawyers. And the only reason that lawyers create laws is to help other lawyers.

Looking at you. Obama.


The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.

obamatimemachine.jpg
2012-11-12 09:08:03 AM
3 votes:
Think the ADA is a good thing? Nope. In fact, it hurts just about everybody.

It leaves firms open to frivolous lawsuits like this. It forces firms to spend tens of thousands of dollars in renovations (or hundreds of thousands in lawsuits) just to cater to a very small portion of the population, many of whom would have never frequented the establishment anyway. (Many disabled people are much older, and won't visit a club, for example...)

Think it helps disabled people? After the ADA was passed, employment of disabled people DROPPED SHARPLY because firms were afraid of lawsuits.
MIT Study

.
2012-11-12 08:16:59 AM
3 votes:
"I'm not going to sit outside calling for somebody. I'm not going to humiliate myself," Slone said. "No self-respecting person is."

right... because asking another human being for help means admitting you lack the ability to do something, and that's degrading. better to seize the upper hand by filing a lawsuit accusing them of being heartless.
2012-11-12 06:58:06 AM
3 votes:
The ADA is farking asinine. Everyone isn't equal. Some people get dealt a bad hand in life. I shouldn't have to build a wheelchair ramp and an elevator and whatever other nonsense just in case someone in a wheelchair happens by. PC bullshiat out of control. Thanks libs.
2012-11-12 06:55:12 AM
3 votes:

mittromneysdog: I don't understand the big deal here. Don't want to be sued under the ADA? Make the choice to make your store ADA compliant. It really is that simple.


Going by the article, she's suing stores that are ADA compliant in the hopes they'll settle anyway rather than suffer the expense of a court case:

"You're asking me for $500 without coming into my store," he said. "I have a ramp, a sign and a handicapped bathroom. If you would have asked me to use it, I have it."
2012-11-12 06:43:12 AM
3 votes:
Potential fix: instead of individuals bringing the suits, have the individuals report it, which would trigger an inspection. If the inspection fails and there's no reason for it to fail such as no new construction or issues involving space to put wheelchair accessible things, the business is told to fix it, or start getting fined by the government. If the error was because it's old and there's no new construction, provide a tax incentive for the business to add accessibility, and no fines if they decide not to. If it's because some jackhole decided when making the place that he just didn't want to put in the extra work, throw the book at him and fine him until compliance.

Of course, this is assuming the business is in full control of the property they're using. If they aren't, find who is in control of it, and apply the same rules.
2012-11-12 06:23:48 AM
3 votes:
This bites, not only because of the douchebaggery of this woman's shister lawyer,, but also because I'm sure a lot of shops rent from a landlord and I would think it would be his responsiblity to bring these buildings up to standard, not the store owner. That would be like fining a tennant because a slum lord wouldn't upgrade his plumbing.
2012-11-12 06:21:30 AM
3 votes:
TFA: In each suit, all filed in Manhattan federal court, she demands $500 in damages, plus lawyers' and experts' fees

Yeah, if she's doing this for the money, she's being peculiarly inefficient about it.
2012-11-12 02:25:15 AM
3 votes:

keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations


2. Would work but what a nightmare. We would need departments at the county and state levels probably. Maybe call them building departments. They would have to be staffed with all kinds of people, maybe call them building inspectors....
2012-11-11 10:15:30 PM
3 votes:
The ADA was created and made into law by lawyers. And the only reason that lawyers create laws is to help other lawyers.

Looking at you. Obama.
2012-11-12 12:36:11 PM
2 votes:
Until you are physically disabled, or have to help someone who is disabled, you simply don't understand.

My brother was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis a month before his college graduation at 22. After college, he became a National Park Ranger. By the age of 30, his muscles had atrophied enough that he became confined to a wheelchair, and soon thereafter, had to retire due to his disability.

My father is the owner of a long standing architecture firm, specializing in several national chains of hotels, and ADA renovations there of. He's a licensed architect in 40 of the 50 states, meaning he has to know all of the building codes like the back of his hand. Between the two of them, major corporations should watch out.

You'd be surprised at how many national chains of all businesses, even decades after the ADA was passed, don't give a shiat about disabled people. And unless they're sued, they won't do a thing about it. Theaters that believe disabled should only have to sit in the very front row, retail stores that put their clothes racks a foot apart, making it impossible for the disabled to shop anything but the front row, hotels that think pedestrian curb cuts are optional, the list is nearly endless of corporations that don't follow the law, and have no incentive to do so.

Over the years, I believe my brother has launched a good 2-dozen class action suits against a number of corporations (he doesn't target small, independent companies). Each and every one, he's won handily. (One of the largest helped to push Regal Cinemas to file bankruptcy and re-brand as Regal Entertainment) He also hasn't benefited financially from any of them - as he'd rather do it out of principle for other people who don't know the law nearly as well.

If you think it's unfair, put yourself in a wheelchair for a day and put tacks in the bottom of your shoe to simulate not being able to stand. Now go try to go shopping. You'll start having fun trying to get the attention of salespeople who ignore you as you try to reach an item that's placed too far back on a table or too high up. You'll be stopped dozens of times a day by a single step, having to try to find another way around, even in newly built buildings. It'll be a shiatty day, because most of society doesn't care. Then imagine having to live the rest of your life facing similar situations, even though it's largely illegal for businesses to act like that. If I were in that situation, you bet your ass I'd start to sue, as you have no other recourse to get people to change and abide by the law.
2012-11-12 11:26:39 AM
2 votes:

brobdiggy: Think the ADA is a good thing? Nope. In fact, it hurts just about everybody.

It leaves firms open to frivolous lawsuits like this. It forces firms to spend tens of thousands of dollars in renovations (or hundreds of thousands in lawsuits) just to cater to a very small portion of the population, many of whom would have never frequented the establishment anyway. (Many disabled people are much older, and won't visit a club, for example...)

Think it helps disabled people? After the ADA was passed, employment of disabled people DROPPED SHARPLY because firms were afraid of lawsuits.
MIT Study

.


I don't know man, one of the few things I love about the US is that we publicly require a minimum level of accomodation for our disabled citizens.
2012-11-12 10:22:31 AM
2 votes:

stonicus: Glockenspiel Hero: I have to admit being torn- I understand the need to make things ADA accessible, but when you have a semi-historic town it's rather tough. Wheelchair ramps take a lot of space, and that space simply doesn't exist- you'd block the entire sidewalk. Many of the shops are quite narrow and trying to put in a lift or something would require a complete reconstruction of the front of the building. Yes, some of them have historic exemptions, but that means you can't do any real updating to the building since that triggers ADA compliance watch. We're stuck with a less than useable academic building on campus for the same reason- any major renovation will force us to put in an elevator, and adding an elevator onto the building will be very expensive since we'll need to build an addition.

/Elevator to my office is currently broken
//Wouldn't be so bad if the stairs were anywhere close. I'd rather have stairs I am the one who has to do the work, then I am against it.


The ADA makes many real small business owners open to extortion that would ruin them. That is not right, it saddens me so many people can't see that. Keep pushing laws like the ADA and all the businesses will be corporate.
2012-11-12 09:58:52 AM
2 votes:

Pr1nc3ss: Calling and complaining about businesses does nothing. When I worked at a store that was not ADA compliant at all, I called and filed a complaint at least five different times on the store I worked with. My manager dis the same but only 3 times, and I know a couple of others did so too. We were sick of hearing customers in wheelchairs complain that they couldn't access products upstairs. I also hated my boss but the pay was good, so I figured what the hell. No inspector came in. I quit in 2009, and the store is still open and those in wheelchairs still have no access to half the store.

These might be frivolous lawsuits, but I like the cause. Hopefully, the business owners will do something.


You do realize ramps can't be to steep so in many instances an elevator would be needed which you can't even install in many old buildings. Just a little FYI, many buildings simply can't be brought into compliance, the only way would be to tear it down and start over.
2012-11-12 09:54:00 AM
2 votes:

mittromneysdog: I don't understand the big deal here. Don't want to be sued under the ADA? Make the choice to make your store ADA compliant. It really is that simple.

To the conservative, life is about choices and personal responsibility--except for conservatives. Remember folks: your Republican friend is for draconian law enforcement. Except against them! I guess they shouldn't have to obey the law whenever it inconveniences them.


I take it you have never run a shop. Commercial work is very expensive and some buildings, almost all of them in my neighborhood, would cost more than the business could recoup to retrofit. These people are real small business owners not corporations with millions to spend. Your comment is off the mark, and I'm about as liberal you can get. The ADA was terrible legislation.
2012-11-12 09:37:06 AM
2 votes:

Baz744: IAMTHEINTARWEBS: Unless the building is brought up to code your efforts are totally selfish.

Are you really this stupid? Without the prospect of paying damages, there is no incentive to be ADA compliant in the first place.

Let me explain this again, because this is how ridiculously anti-plaintiff the ADA is:

If the defendant brings the building up to code at any time during the lawsuit, the court loses subject matter jurisdiction, and cannot award the plaintiff costs and attorney fees.

Link


Wow. If only these people had the money to go to court and drag it out so they can fix it. Oh wait, they don't
So they settle because they don't have the time or money for a lawyer. Its a legal shakedown.
2012-11-12 09:13:25 AM
2 votes:

Baz744: IAMTHEINTARWEBS: Unless the building is brought up to code your efforts are totally selfish.

Are you really this stupid? Without the prospect of paying damages, there is no incentive to be ADA compliant in the first place.

Let me explain this again, because this is how ridiculously anti-plaintiff the ADA is:

If the defendant brings the building up to code at any time during the lawsuit, the court loses subject matter jurisdiction, and cannot award the plaintiff costs and attorney fees.

Link


So the guy with the ramp and restroom that's getting sued -- he can just ignore the suit? Or does he have to hire lawyers and go to court to present this defense to the suit? And will that cost more than just giving in to the extortion and settling?
2012-11-12 08:56:36 AM
2 votes:

Pr1nc3ss: Calling and complaining about businesses does nothing. When I worked at a store that was not ADA compliant at all, I called and filed a complaint at least five different times on the store I worked with. My manager dis the same but only 3 times, and I know a couple of others did so too. We were sick of hearing customers in wheelchairs complain that they couldn't access products upstairs. I also hated my boss but the pay was good, so I figured what the hell. No inspector came in. I quit in 2009, and the store is still open and those in wheelchairs still have no access to half the store.

These might be frivolous lawsuits, but I like the cause. Hopefully, the business owners will do something.


I am not an ada expert so someone can correct me, but unless the issue is a building code issue (and it probably isn't), then the inspectors have no authority to do anything. This is the problem with the ADA, they essentially privatized what should be handled by building codes and instead of inspectors handling this stuff lawyers have to.
2012-11-12 08:43:48 AM
2 votes:

bluefoxicy: Baz744: In Buckhannon Bd. And Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001), the Supreme Court held that if a plaintiff sues under the ADA for real non-compliance issues, and the defendant becomes compliant during the pendency of the suit, the plaintiff still can't recover attorney fees and costs.

Thus, the tool in the article complaining about being sued, and not having any opportunity to make any changes, was lying. He could have avoided paying damages just by making changes at any time up to the moment of the verdict.


Not a lawyer, didn't study case law, didn't know that, too poor to hire a lawyer.

Not exactly a toolbox.


This. All he had to do was pay a lawyer a few hundred (for a shiat lawyer) an hour to review his case, then tell him he can make the changes. Then pay the lawyer a few thousand more to go to a couple of hearings saying it was fixed. Anyway you look at this it is a 5k+ problem. Or you can pay your $500 and move on.....
xcv
2012-11-12 08:01:26 AM
2 votes:

captain_heroic44: Bit'O'Gristle: /It IS all about the money.

She's only getting $500 per suit--IF the defendant fails to become compliant at any time during the lawsuit.

So no, it has almost nothing to do with money. If this is a money making scheme, it is the worst one in world history.


"she demands $500 in damages, plus lawyers' and experts' fees, which could run up to $15,000."

"If she wins them all, she'll reap at least $19,500 - and hundreds of thousands more for her Brooklyn attorney, Robert Mirel, who works for the Florida-based Weitz Law Firm."

"Weitz also represents Zoltan Hirsch, a Brooklyn double amputee who The Post revealed last year filed 147 suits citing the Americans with Disabilities Act."

Sounds like she's just a front for the law firm. Or there's kickbacks, attention or smugness involved.
2012-11-12 07:16:59 AM
2 votes:

feckingmorons: So the woman in the wheelchair sued the store that sells dance clothing and shoes? Why would she want to go there.


Yeah, and I don't have tits so I would never have a need to go to a lingerie store.


/sorry dear, I'm not able to buy you a Christmas gift this year.
2012-11-12 07:10:20 AM
2 votes:
I was in a trampoline park that had to install an elevator to get wheelchairs off the floor and up to the trampoline level. If you need a wheelchair because you can't walk, how are you supposed to jump on a trampoline?
2012-11-12 06:37:10 AM
2 votes:
courantblogs.com
2012-11-12 06:27:16 AM
2 votes:
This has been a "hot" thing lately for the blood sucking lawyer types. They basically partner up with a handicapped person and have them file as many complaints as possible against as many people as possible because 90% of the time, people will settle out of court.

And yes, its about the money, that's all its about.
2012-11-12 06:23:41 AM
2 votes:
She as a person shouldn't be able to sue for that.

The government should. Normal stores get inspected for fire hazards ect. in the US, no? So if being wheelchair accessible is a must that is signed into law, then they can inspect that too and hand out fines.
2012-11-12 06:14:56 AM
2 votes:
Wheelchair accessible = Dalek accessible. Is that really worth the risk?
2012-11-12 06:02:37 AM
2 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: We as a society are judged by how we treat the lowest among us.


Judged by whom? Pretentious douchebags?
2012-11-12 05:53:23 AM
2 votes:
ADA = typical socialist fascism. If a store does not meet the needs of its customers then it will go out of business, NO NEED FOR GUBMINT INTERFERENCE. Equality under the law is when crips and vegetables have the same power as any other customer - the power to not shop there. Not when the gubmint gives them special rights.

We used to know how to deal with communists like this mong. But of course America just voted for giving those people special rights. Aint democracy great?
2012-11-12 05:49:55 AM
2 votes:

Mock26: Nogale: Eventually she'll run into a judge who is less than sympathetic to her tactics. Suing a business owner whose shop has actually been fitted out to grant access to the disabled? Bad move.

Some guy tried this in Chicago a number of years ago, but he farked up because he would just go down the street and write down the name and addresses of businesses that did not have ramps and would then try to sue them. Many of those businesses, however, had removable ramps. They were in vintage buildings and were given an exemption from having to install permanent ramps. These places usually had a single step up and the door bell could be reached by someone in a wheelchair. If this guy had rung the bell the employees would have brought out a ramp, set it up, and he could have entered the business. After some bad press coverage he stopped being a douche.


FTA, it sounds like plenty of the businesses being sued are the same, but this lady is betting they'll settle to avoid the costs of a trial.

Most of the frivolous lawsuits you hear about work pretty much the same way, actually; the plaintiff knows they probably won't win, they're just hoping the defendant settles. Which they usually do, because who wants the hassle and expense of a court case when you can avoid it for five grand?
2012-11-12 05:46:18 AM
2 votes:
feckingmorons:Somebody will push her in front of a dump truck soon enough.

done in one.
2012-11-12 05:38:04 AM
2 votes:
i90.photobucket.com

Here's your wheelchair access, lady.
2012-11-12 05:16:27 AM
2 votes:
We as a society are judged by how we treat the lowest among us.
2012-11-12 03:07:05 AM
2 votes:
40 years from now you'll all discover that your hoverounds won't fit between the bar stools.

One of my few regrets in life is that I won't be here to witness the wailing and gnashing of your teeth.
2012-11-12 12:09:39 AM
2 votes:
New York is filled with tiny little corner shops with cramped aisles that even ambulatory fat asses can't fit down. I take it the price of real estate is so high they have to cram a store into one quarter the size of a normal store.

The solution is simple. Get rid of them all, let Wal-Mart build a store in Staten Island somewhere and then everyone in any of the five boroughs who needs to grab a few things should just drive 10-20 miles to their "local" Wal-Mart, like everyone in real America has to do.
2012-11-11 11:24:24 PM
2 votes:
There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations
2012-11-12 11:00:14 AM
1 votes:
If I was a store owner I would fix the problem...

and then send a letter to her saying she's banned from the store.
2012-11-12 10:38:09 AM
1 votes:

stonicus: Glockenspiel Hero: I have to admit being torn- I understand the need to make things ADA accessible, but when you have a semi-historic town it's rather tough. Wheelchair ramps take a lot of space, and that space simply doesn't exist- you'd block the entire sidewalk. Many of the shops are quite narrow and trying to put in a lift or something would require a complete reconstruction of the front of the building. Yes, some of them have historic exemptions, but that means you can't do any real updating to the building since that triggers ADA compliance watch. We're stuck with a less than useable academic building on campus for the same reason- any major renovation will force us to put in an elevator, and adding an elevator onto the building will be very expensive since we'll need to build an addition.

/Elevator to my office is currently broken
//Wouldn't be so bad if the stairs were anywhere close. I'd rather have stairs I am the one who has to do the work, then I am against it.


Hunh? I *am* the ADA guy on the IT staff. I've done work with a bunch of the blind students on campus to get them hardware and software they can use. (As well as taught one in class) I've helped make sure classrooms are accessible for the professor we have who's in a wheelchair. I've worked with a couple of folks who can't use the aforementioned building to make sure we move technology they need to spaces they can access.

I *do* do the work. But hey, enjoy the snark.
2012-11-12 10:37:18 AM
1 votes:

This text is now purple: OBBN: In 2003 I had a workplace accident while working for BellSouth (now AT&T) as a service tech. I took a 20' fall from a telephone pole and broke my back.

That harness doesn't do much when you don't attach the lanyard.


You're ignorant about pole climbing. If you didn't know what he meant by gaffing you should have remained silent.
2012-11-12 10:16:09 AM
1 votes:

Spanky McStupid: "I, along with anybody else with a disability, has the right to go wherever they choose to go and not have to be dissuaded or inconvenienced or even apologetic."

It's obvious she is not an english major.


So cripples should not be inconvenienced, but everyone else should be to compensate for their issues...lovely reasoning there.

SO instead of me having to fiddle with contact lenses or glasses everyday, all signs and such should be printed in a proper font/distortion to offset my vision problem, everyone else be damned if they cant read it.


ThighsofGlory: RatMaster999: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

"I'm not going to sit outside calling for somebody. I'm not going to humiliate myself," Slone said. "No self-respecting person is."


Yeah, thats just plain d-bag there. I mean come on lady, people know your crippled as soon as they see you, a ramp isnt gonna hide it from anyone.
2012-11-12 10:14:47 AM
1 votes:

SkunkWerks: Zeb Hesselgresser: Republican President signs bad law proposed by a Democratic Congress, so Republican's suck.

You said it, not me.

Actually, one thing you didn't notably mention was that George W. Bush would later revisit the law to amend "overly restrictive provisions".

I guess he missed this particular one, eh?


You're referring to Bush signing another Democrat Written Law - Hoyer (D), Harkin (D) and Specter (R - wink, no, D) -that strengthened the original law, closing the holes the supreme court used to over-ride the silliness? Then no, I didn't miss it, I just didn't think I needed to pummel that horse any further, but okay, let's.
2012-11-12 10:01:28 AM
1 votes:

SkunkWerks: kapaso: I take it you have never run a shop. Commercial work is very expensive and some buildings, almost all of them in my neighborhood, would cost more than the business could recoup to retrofit.

aharown: The ADA exempts businesses who can show that the modifications required would cause a significant financial hardship.

SkunkWerks: Leaving the question of why none of the thirty-nine businesses mentioned in this article could presumably demonstrate for this exemption.


Sorry, but don't you still need a lawyer to prove that on court?
2012-11-12 09:56:44 AM
1 votes:

kapaso: I take it you have never run a shop. Commercial work is very expensive and some buildings, almost all of them in my neighborhood, would cost more than the business could recoup to retrofit.


aharown: The ADA exempts businesses who can show that the modifications required would cause a significant financial hardship.


SkunkWerks: Leaving the question of why none of the thirty-nine businesses mentioned in this article could presumably demonstrate for this exemption.

2012-11-12 09:55:37 AM
1 votes:

doubled99: Why can't you just accept that you're crippled and quit trying to make everyone else adjust?


Rights? You have the right to walk normally too, but you can't.


Of course we could make things more challenging, Lisa, but then the stupider students would be in here complaining, furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation.

www.channel4.com
2012-11-12 09:54:13 AM
1 votes:

RatMaster999: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations

Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.

Or D) Stop being handicapped.


No, keep being handicapped if that's your thing. Stop being a twat.

FTA: Slone said she often warns shops when their steps prevent her motorized chair from entering but admitted it's easier to call her lawyers.
"I'm not going to sit outside calling for somebody. I'm not going to humiliate myself," Slone said. "No self-respecting person is."
2012-11-12 09:42:49 AM
1 votes:
The current wave of social justice advocates are nothing but mediocre nobodies who have somehow got it into their heads that they're "special". Since they lack the skills, drive, or talent to accomplish anything noteworthy, they instead become "social justice crusaders" for whatever cause benefits them the most. So instead of "average disabled person in a wheelchair", they become "Elite Social Justice Crusader for Oppressed and Disadvantaged People Everywhere!".

It's the same thing as when you hear a bored housewife or useless college student make the claim that they're 'psychic'.
2012-11-12 09:35:23 AM
1 votes:

keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations


What about a special court or a federal review board that has to review cases before they move on to trial? Someone who is qualified to throw a bunch of these things out before both sides spend a lot of money?
2012-11-12 09:33:04 AM
1 votes:
The ADA exempts businesses who can show that the modifications required would cause a significant financial hardship. I'm certain this would include most single location stores and shops. If she makes them waste their money defending themselves and that forces them out of business anyway...

what an f'd up world we live in.
2012-11-12 09:14:40 AM
1 votes:
I'm doing my best to be sympathetic to the small shop owners in NYC, but have you ever gone into those places? Ignore that whole non-ADA compliance issue. Just go to Queens and walk into any small shop. They're cramped, noisy, unsanitary, and run by extremely unpleasant people. I'm generalizing, obviously- you can find the occasional decent place to shop. But in general, I have yet to find a group of people less annoying than NYC small shop owners. Wipe 'em all out and put in entire blocks of ADA-compliant Starbucks. It couldn't be any worse, and at least that burnt crap they call coffee smells good while it's being ruined.

/Just sayin'.
2012-11-12 08:50:07 AM
1 votes:
Problem isnt the lady nor the stores.

The law needs a grace period to fix the problem without incurring a fine
2012-11-12 08:48:33 AM
1 votes:

SkunkWerks: mittromneysdog: To the conservative, life is about choices and personal responsibility--except for conservatives. Remember folks: your Republican friend is for draconian law enforcement. Except against them! I guess they shouldn't have to obey the law whenever it inconveniences them.

George H.W. Bush passed the ADA.

Just sayin'.


Proposed by Tom Harkin (D), both chambers of legislature had a Democratic majority.

Republican President signs bad law proposed by a Democratic Congress, so Republican's suck.

Bipartisanship means Bad Law your fault, Good Law our success. Who wouldn't want to play that game.
2012-11-12 08:39:34 AM
1 votes:

Baz744: In Buckhannon Bd. And Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001), the Supreme Court held that if a plaintiff sues under the ADA for real non-compliance issues, and the defendant becomes compliant during the pendency of the suit, the plaintiff still can't recover attorney fees and costs.

Thus, the tool in the article complaining about being sued, and not having any opportunity to make any changes, was lying. He could have avoided paying damages just by making changes at any time up to the moment of the verdict.



Not a lawyer, didn't study case law, didn't know that, too poor to hire a lawyer.

Not exactly a toolbox.
2012-11-12 08:32:36 AM
1 votes:
ADA is a fine example of a poor written law. Around here, we have intersections with wheel chair ramps that end in a ditch because of some provision in the ADA.
2012-11-12 08:31:02 AM
1 votes:

Bigdogdaddy: This bites, not only because of the douchebaggery of this woman's shister lawyer,, but also because I'm sure a lot of shops rent from a landlord and I would think it would be his responsiblity to bring these buildings up to standard, not the store owner. That would be like fining a tennant because a slum lord wouldn't upgrade his plumbing.


Commercial leases don't work like this. The tenant typically can make any reasonable improvements they want. Most commercial leases actually state the landlord makes no warranties in regards to ADA and the tenant is on their own in ensuring they are complaint. If the ADA issue is in a common area of a multi-tenant property you may have this right, but I think ada stuff usually comes up on the inside.
2012-11-12 08:28:29 AM
1 votes:

keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations


C) Allow a Cure Period upon notice of intent to sue for lack of access. You have 90 days to cure or the suit moves forward.

/none of these people give fark one about access anyway.
2012-11-12 08:21:16 AM
1 votes:
"I'm not going to sit outside calling for somebody. I'm not going to humiliate myself," Slone said. "No self-respecting person is."

Good idea, Ms. Streisand.
2012-11-12 08:15:38 AM
1 votes:
Polio? Who the fark gets polio anymore?
2012-11-12 08:10:28 AM
1 votes:
Just because you are a cripple, doesn't mean you aren't a liar.
2012-11-12 07:53:02 AM
1 votes:
We've got one of these in our town (Gettysburg) as well.

Well, not in our town. She doesn't live here. She just comes by and files complaints about anyplace she can't get into. She has no intention of actually going into the store or buying anything. As you can imagine, the local shopkeepers love her.

I have to admit being torn- I understand the need to make things ADA accessible, but when you have a semi-historic town it's rather tough. Wheelchair ramps take a lot of space, and that space simply doesn't exist- you'd block the entire sidewalk. Many of the shops are quite narrow and trying to put in a lift or something would require a complete reconstruction of the front of the building. Yes, some of them have historic exemptions, but that means you can't do any real updating to the building since that triggers ADA compliance watch. We're stuck with a less than useable academic building on campus for the same reason- any major renovation will force us to put in an elevator, and adding an elevator onto the building will be very expensive since we'll need to build an addition.

/Elevator to my office is currently broken
//Wouldn't be so bad if the stairs were anywhere close. I'd rather have stairs
2012-11-12 07:33:31 AM
1 votes:

IAMTHEINTARWEBS: Unless the building is brought up to code your efforts are totally selfish.


Are you really this stupid? Without the prospect of paying damages, there is no incentive to be ADA compliant in the first place.

Let me explain this again, because this is how ridiculously anti-plaintiff the ADA is:

If the defendant brings the building up to code at any time during the lawsuit, the court loses subject matter jurisdiction, and cannot award the plaintiff costs and attorney fees.

Link
2012-11-12 07:27:58 AM
1 votes:
It's probably not a legitimate handicap, the body has ways of dealing with things like this - I've seen those people on the tee-vee get up and walk if the Jesus wants them to.

/Do I need a resident or Kentucky non-resident fishing license for this?
2012-11-12 07:20:00 AM
1 votes:
Old buildings are grandfathered in, and can be exempt. My sister was the GM of an old 1-screen theater. It was built in the 20's. it even had a balcony, although people weren't allowed up there because the projector would make it so hot. Anyway, someone tried to sue b/c there wasn't a handicap accessible restroom. However, b/c of the age of the building, it was exempted. I imagine there are a lot of buildings in this story like that. They should take this woman to court. If she had to eat the cost of a couple of these lawsuits, she might quit.
2012-11-12 07:19:58 AM
1 votes:

Tokin42: I was in a trampoline park that had to install an elevator to get wheelchairs off the floor and up to the trampoline level. If you need a wheelchair because you can't walk, how are you supposed to jump on a trampoline?


Yeah! and why the hell should you expect to be able to watch your kids on the trampoline, they will be better off without you, you embarrassing handicapped loser.

/ ?
2012-11-12 07:14:16 AM
1 votes:

mittromneysdog: Gunther: Going by the article, she's suing stores that are ADA compliant in the hopes they'll settle anyway rather than suffer the expense of a court case:

ADA is a fee shifting statute that offers little in the way of damages. That means:

1) plaintiff's lawyers who do not prevail recover nothing, and usually don't get paid at all, and

2) plaintiffs and their lawyers who file frivolous suits can be ordered to pay the defendant's attorney fees and court costs, including expert witness fees.

Because of number 1) there is little incentive to file against compliant businesses in the first place. Because of number 2) there is a strong disincentive to file against compliant businesses. Moreover, there is strong incentive for compliant businesses to litigate rather than settle, since if they win, they can recover costs.

Wild. It's almost like the article in this Murdoch owned tabloid rag doesn't really give a fair and balanced picture of what is going on, but rather approaches the story with an ideological slant.


It gets even better.

In Buckhannon Bd. And Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001), the Supreme Court held that if a plaintiff sues under the ADA for real non-compliance issues, and the defendant becomes compliant during the pendency of the suit, the plaintiff still can't recover attorney fees and costs.

Thus, the tool in the article complaining about being sued, and not having any opportunity to make any changes, was lying. He could have avoided paying damages just by making changes at any time up to the moment of the verdict.

Link

Anyone up in arms about frivolous lawsuits under the ADA is an ignorant fool being manipulated by the right-wing press.
GBB
2012-11-12 06:23:12 AM
1 votes:

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations

Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.


This doesn't end until we get a 1:12 ramp to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
2012-11-12 06:19:11 AM
1 votes:
Depends on what the amounts are. If they're legal fees + $1, it's just to put the transgression on record which means a settlement is out of the question. A shop that loses that sort of case has every incentive to fix the problem or the next lawsuit will be a slam-dunk case for big bucks.

sno man: Make the fee an even grand, and the inspection a condition of the suit (litigant pays). If they have enough of a case to proceed, they get it back win or lose, if they don't, bye $1k. They might think twice the next time and keep some of the frivolous suits out of the system.


All that does is put power only in the hands of those who can afford to lose the $1k. It'll make the numbers look good, but I think we've got enough plutocracy in the system.
2012-11-12 06:15:21 AM
1 votes:
As someone who regularly mocks gimps, midgets, the infirm and retards, I'm.....

I can't even troll it. Too early.

/lady is a coont
2012-11-12 06:06:28 AM
1 votes:

Mock26: These places usually had a single step up and the door bell could be reached by someone in a wheelchair. If this guy had rung the bell the employees would have brought out a ramp, set it up, and he could have entered the business.


They should not have been regarded as compliant without prominent signs indicating the availability of assistance. That's common sense.
2012-11-12 05:49:53 AM
1 votes:

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: keithgabryelski: There are two methods to enforce the law:

1) allow anyone to sue when they see a violation
2) provide an army of inspectors to check every business location in america.

#2 creates an incredibly large bureaucracy which couldn't possible service all of america reasonably

#1 provides for individuals to look like douche-bags by pointing out the incorrectly built and managed business locations

Or C) Admit not every square inch of America can be rebuilt to be handicapped accessible, despite PC optimism. Sidewalks, public buildings? Sure. But small business and private building that were built decades or even a century before the ADA existed, not so much.


Or D) Stop being handicapped.
2012-11-12 05:35:53 AM
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: We as a society are judged by how we treat the lowest among us.


Exactly, and the midgets are able to walk up and down stairs.
2012-11-12 05:32:44 AM
1 votes:
Break a leg, lady!
2012-11-12 05:14:51 AM
1 votes:

violentsalvation: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: emonk: The ADA was created and made into law by lawyers. And the only reason that lawyers create laws is to help other lawyers.

Looking at you. Obama.

The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.

obamatimemachine.jpg

Barry graduated from Harvard law school in 1991, which was just ONE year after 1990. Coincidence? I think not.


Take 1991, drop the 1, and add the first letter of Obama and you get 199O!
2012-11-12 05:13:07 AM
1 votes:

AbbeySomeone: That was the most ridiculous lawsuit. This b*tch is crazy and very angry that she never got to have a dance recital.


A google search on "wheelchair dance" might enlighten you. Those damn cripples do all sorts of things these days.
2012-11-12 03:44:09 AM
1 votes:

puffy999: This is a self-respecting "person"?

I thought she was just a greedy, lazy, self-conscious biatch.

Frankly, she shouldn't even come out of her house because she deserves nothing but ridicule, mockery, and scorn. May her brakes go out and she rollolololol into the nearest river.


You're not alone in your feelings. She should be sued for harrassement and extortion, or just caught under a garbage truck.

feckingmorons: So the woman in the wheelchair sued the store that sells dance clothing and shoes? Why would she want to go there.

Of course it is money making. Somebody will push her in front of a dump truck soon enough.


That was the most ridiculous lawsuit. This b*tch is crazy and very angry that she never got to have a dance recital. Solution : somebody's gotta pay.
2012-11-12 01:22:09 AM
1 votes:

L.D. Ablo: emonk: The ADA was created and made into law by lawyers. And the only reason that lawyers create laws is to help other lawyers.

Looking at you. Obama.

As a lawyer, I'm really getting a kick out of this comment.

Keep hatin'!


Geez, this place is crawling with lawyers.
Ick.
2012-11-11 11:13:46 PM
1 votes:

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: emonk: The ADA was created and made into law by lawyers. And the only reason that lawyers create laws is to help other lawyers.

Looking at you. Obama.

The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.

obamatimemachine.jpg


Barry graduated from Harvard law school in 1991, which was just ONE year after 1990. Coincidence? I think not.
 
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