By Steven Totten | Phoenix Business Journal
The office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed a motion to dismiss the more than 1,000 lawsuits filed by the nonprofit group Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
AID has filed 1,700-plus “copy-and-paste” lawsuits to dozens of Valley businesses for not being compliant with the ADA, though the issues were easily fixable or out of the hands of the businesses to change. AID’s lawyers instead sought to get thousands of dollars in damages and attorney’s fees.
“The Attorney General’s Motion to Dismiss 1700 cases against business and property owners for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been nearly 4 months in the making. For over a year, property and business owners have been inundated with lawsuits filed by Advocates for Individuals With Disabilities Foundation (AID) and its attorneys, alleging minor violations of the ADA’s parking and signage rules and demanding damages of at least $5,000. Many business and property owners unwillingly made the economic choice to pay AID rather than engage in costly litigation. If dismissed, thousands of business and property owners can stop worrying about paying thousands of dollars for mistakenly placing a parking sign 2 inches too high.
“The Attorney General’s motion to dismiss the lawsuits is occurring at the same time AID is facing sanctions in Arizona’s federal courts for similar lawsuits, where AID’s attorneys have conceded that with their complaints as filed, AID has no damages yet has demanded property and business owners pay thousands of dollars. AIDs attorneys are scheduled to appear in the federal court on December 12, 2016, to address whether they have engaged in a pattern of unethical conduct.
“A ruling on the Attorney General’s Motion is expected early next year.”