Recently, KABC in Los Angeles and reporter Marc Brown did a story on a serial ADA lawsuit filer who says he is disabled with end-stage emphysema. However if you look at the video, his end stage emphysema does not prevent him from being a prolific hiker and taking daily walks with his dogs in the rugged hills of Sun Valley.
This man has also filed over 160 ADA lawsuits against small businesses in and around the Burbank area. And what is amazing is that he has filed three more since the story by KABC was taped.
The outrage for me is that guys like this are allowed to keep suing and destroying small businesses all over this state. Prolific filers of ADA lawsuits are hurting job creation and economic growth at a time when we can least afford it.
We had an opportunity to stop this obscene practice this year in the State Legislature. State Senator Bob Dutton introduced SB 783, which would have allowed a defendant 120 days to correct an alleged ADA violation before a civil action could proceed. It met the same fate as many other legal reform bills – it was killed in the Senate Judiciary Committee along party lines.
I keep hearing that SB 1608, which was passed in 2008, is the answer to this problem and it just needs time to work. The fact is that SB 1608 will do nothing to stop the lawsuits and people like Mr. Cohan. All SB 1608 has done so far is garnered a commitment to study ADA issues and report back to the Legislature no earlier than July 1, 2013 and no later than July 1, 2014.
People who are rightfully concerned about this issue should become involved in California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. If you have been sued you should contact the CCDA and let them hear your complaints and concerns.