This is a follow up to last week’s blog, “Consolidate and Eliminate.” A magistrate judge in the Western District of Texas seems to be just that in a series of cases (more than 300) filed by Jon Deutsch in Austin, Texas. Deutsch v. Annis Enterprises, Inc., 2016 WL 5317431 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 21, 2016). I won’t provide a detailed analysis of the opinion, which should be read by every lawyer representing defendants in serial litigant cases,* but two points stand out. First, the Court conducted an evidentiary hearing, thus moving past the pleading stage, at which standing depends only on the plaintiff’s willingness to lie. Putting the plaintiff to his proof of standing early in the case is the single most important reason to consolidate and eliminate because it allows the critical fact issue to be resolved early, before the costs of litigation become absurd. More
ADA drive-by litigation
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Litigation Procedure Tags: ADA drive-by litigation, ada litigation, Arizona Attorney General, serial litigation
The intervention of the Arizona Attorney General in more than a thousand cases filed under Arizona’s ADA equivalent has been big news for some time in the ADA litigation world. (see our blog, Arizona Attorney General Intervenes to stop abusive ADA litigation) Now, according to the latest news stories (click here), the Attorney General will seek to have the entire group of cases dismissed on standing grounds. The result is still uncertain, but reports that the plaintiff never visited most of the locations sued seem to point toward a decision favorable to the State.** More
By Richard Hunt in ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA FHA Litigation General, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: "drive-by", ADA drive-by litigation, DIY, DIY ADA Survey, Do It Yourself
Today’s Google news brought another batch of outraged articles about serial ADA plaintiffs and legislators looking for solutions to the ADA litigation epidemic. The serial filer was in the Wichita, Kansas area, and the legislators were in Colorado, but otherwise the stories were pretty much the same as the stories last week, and the week before, and the week before that. Business owners say they were surprised to find that they were not ADA compliant, and lawmakers say the law should require a pre-suit demand so businesses have a chance to fix their problems before they get sued. The plaintiff, or his lawyer, always points out that the ADA has been in effect for 25 years, so it shouldn’t really be news. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - Hotels, ADA - serial litigation, ADA FHA Litigation General, Restaurants, Retail, Shopping Centers Tags: ADA drive-by litigation, ADA serial litigation, frequent filers, Strojnik, The Economist
This is a bit of tooting our own horn. In an article published in the May 28 edition of The Economist, and available on-line at the following link (“Frequent Filers”) Richard is quoted concerning the serial litigation epidemic. This followed several hours of interviews with reporter Benjamin Sutherland in which Richard provided background information on the ADA and so-called “drive-by” litigation. You don’t have to wait for The Economist to publish another article, or wonder how much information was left out because of format restrictions. Just subscribe to our blog for frequent updates on the ADA and FHA.
As an aside, the Arizona attorney quoted in the article, Peter J. Strojnik, should not be confused with his son P. Kristofer Strojnik, (also sometimes referred to as Peter K. Strojnik), who was the subject of a May 13, 2016 ruling from the Central District of California. In Brooke v. Clay Andro Peterson, 2016 WL 2851440 (C.D.Cal. May 13, 2016) the District Judge dismissed three lawsuits filed by P. Kristofer Strojnik that were based solely on telephone calls to various hotels by the plaintiff. The reasoning will apply to many of P. Kristofer Strojnik’s cases, and should be studied by any lawyer representing clients sued by the plaintiff, Ms. Brooke, or by P. Kristofer Strojnik’s firm. For more detail, see tomorrow’s blog – “Dialing for Dollars Revisited.” You will find more information on P. Kristofer Strojnik at the State Bar of Arizona website: Phoenix Attorney Peter K. Strojnik Suspended
for Threatening Opposing Party with Public Shaming.