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Happy Wheelers are among those not happy with ADA driven Manteca lawsuits

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Happy Wheelers are among those not  happy with ADA driven Manteca lawsuits

Janet Manzitto signs a petition at the Manteca Chamber of Commerce booth at the farmers market Tuesday to take a stand against frivolous Americans with Disabilities Acts lawsuits against local busi...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED June 4, 2014 1:11 a.m.

Farm fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t the only things on the menu at the Manteca Farmer’s Market on Tuesday

More than half-a-dozen members of the Manteca Happy Wheelers – an organization comprised of residents that get around Manteca in motorized scooters – took time to sign a petition urging elected officials to put pressure on California lawmakers to eliminate the legal loophole allowing for excessive Americans with Disabilities Act compliance litigation.

The petition, which is being circulated by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, will be delivered to Representative Jeff Denham’s Office.

Ronnie Schaapman, who himself uses a scooter to get around, said that the City of Manteca has gone out of its way to work with the group to determine the best course of action whenever there was a question about what was best for the community that needs wheelchair access. 

“The city has always made sure that we’re safe with what it is that they do,” he said. “And if there’s something that isn’t working, they find a way to fix it. There never has been a problem before, and what this guy is doing doesn’t represent all of us.”

 Last month local business owners became incensed when word started to spread that Carmichael-based attorney Scott Johnson had been filing ADA non-compliance lawsuits against businesses for infractions that ranged from not having on-site parking to having a front door that was too difficult to open. 

Manteca business owner John Perez will be holding a free workshop on Friday, June 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Emory – located at 1028 W. Yosemite Ave. – to educate business owners on how to reduce the risk and liability from aggressive litigators. 

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