Non-profit group concerned over tactics in ADA lawsuits

Non-profit group concerned over...

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) -  A non-profit group is concerned over the tactics used to file lawsuits against businesses accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The director with the Utah Disabilities Law center said those tactics are questionable but it raises awareness to the problem.

In federal court, Attorney James Ord has filed 179 lawsuits against businesses accusing them of violating the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"The only way we're going to achieve wide spread compliance is through activist litigators, activist plaintiffs," Ord told News 4 Utah earlier this month.

But in court filings, Ord is accused of being the front man for an Arizona company called Litigation Management and Financial Services.

Attorneys who represent some of the businesses claimed Ord is being paid $100 per case.  The plaintiff who is disabled is paid $50 per case.

Attorney Greg Hurley who is representing Smith's Foods said he deposed the plaintiff Trevor Kelly.  Hurley claimed Kelly admitted LMFS hired people to drive him to these businesses before the lawsuit was filed and was paid $50.

The director of the Utah Disability Law Center said this isn't the way to go about bringing businesses into compliance.

"We aren't really comfortable with litigation tactics that may have the effect of eroding the public confidence in the fact that the ADA is a great law," said Aaron Kinikini.

He said anyone who sees a business violating the ADA can either confront the business owner in hopes of persuading the owner to make the changes.  If not, Kinikini said one can file a complaint with the Department of Justice.   

To file a complaint visit their website:

But Kinikini said enforcement with the Department of Justice is slow.  He said it could take several months before the business receives the complaint.

According to Adam Neese who is disabled there are many business that are in violation.  He said it frustrates him.

"It is (frustrating) because there's some places that I see that I want to check out (but) can't really do it," said Neese.

He said when that happens he doesn't go into the business and he said the business won't get his money.


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