Pete Paulsen of House of Wheels fame noted that Scott Johnson — the extensively traveled handicapped attorney from Carmichael who peels off ADA lawsuits like they’re toilet paper — a few years back actually cost him little over $6,000 once his attorney fees were factored into the equation.
Paulsen made the improvements Johnson demanded at The Pub he owned on El Dorado Street in French Camp including a handicapped parking place and rails in the bathrooms. But Johnson still demanded $5,000 in the incident from a few years back. His lawyer negotiated Johnson down to $2,700.
You’d think by now that the California Congressional delegation — the federal government allows Johnson to continue his handiwork after the state took away his ability to make easy money by essentially extracting punitive damages by threatening a lawsuit — would do something about it. Legislation that Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock is one of 13 sponsors on has been bottled up in a House committee for over a year.
Give the congressman some more ammo to try and pressure his colleagues to get the bill moving by writing Denham at 4701 Sisk Road, Suite 202, Modesto, CA 95356.
The proposed legislation in question is House of Representatives Bill 994 known as ‘The ACCESS” or ADA Compliance for Consumer Entry to Stores and Services Act. The bill authored by Congressman Ken Calvert of Southern California.
The proposed law would end the practice of “abusive lawsuits in which unscrupulous attorneys sue businesses seeking quick settlements, not improved access for the disabled.”
The bill would not make businesses immune for lawsuits. Instead it would give business owners and landlords 60 days to provide the aggrieved person with a description outlining the improvements that they will make to address the violation. Then they would have 120 days to remove or fix the violation. If landlords or business owners fail to meet the terms, only then will a lawsuit go forward.
Johnson did not give businesses a chance to comply first with the ADA laws before suing them. Such a practice is allowed under federal law.