I am writing to comment on David Thom’s letter entitled “We call them ambulance chasers,” which appeared in your July 31 issue. Mr. Thom expressed dismay about the number of ADA violation lawsuits filed without any effort to talk to the owners of the restaurants and resolve the issue before filing a complaint. Mr. Thom will likely be as disgusted as I was by the article in a recent San Francisco Chronicle about serial ADA filers, primarily one Scott Johnson, who has been the plaintiff in over 6,000 (that’s not a typo — six-thousand) lawsuits claiming ADA violations by small business owners.
One of my clients (who shall remain nameless) found herself on the wrong side of one of Mr. Johnson’s latest filings. What disturbed me almost as much as the filing itself was how she learned about the complaint against her: She received a copy in the mail from a law firm specializing in the defense of such matters, with a letter suggesting that she needed to retain counsel (them, of course).
There are ambulances being chased on both sides of the issue. How this is not an unlawful solicitation of business under State Bar Rule 1-400 is beyond me, but I’m one of the attorneys who thought legalizing attorney advertising back in 1977 would lead to no good.
Adam C. Kent