The New York Times of April 17, 2012 featured a fascinating front page story about lawyers who search out people with disabilities in order to sue small businesses in New York which are not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), by, for example, not being accessible to those in wheel chairs.
Although this is not employment related, it does involve alleged discrimination, and we thought that you might be interested in the resourcefulness of these lawyers, who actively recruit plaintiffs who stand to make $500 per lawsuit, while under the ADA prevailing lawyers can recover their much more substantial legal fees from the businesses sued. Read a good article on this practice published by Cory Iannacone, Esq. in April 2011.
In fact, the Times’ story mentions one lawyer who has sued 200 New York businesses, and one person with a disability who has been a plaintiff 19 times in 16 months!
The practice may appear unseemly, and it does have its critics, even on the bench. One federal judge wrote that “Plaintiff’s testimony left the distinct impression that he is merely a professional pawn in an ongoing scheme to bilk attorney’s fees from defendant.