As Jeff Flake prepares to push new legislation to curb serial ADA litigation, the Arizona senator toured Valley businesses hit by a flood of disability lawsuits this year.
Flake said he wanted to know more about the people who were sued by a controversial group called Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) and their attorney, Peter Strojnik.
One of the businesses toured by Flake was a Mesa furniture store owned by Marvin Kerby. At one point, Flake asked how much AID demanded to settle allegations over issues with his parking log signs.
“$5,000,” Kerby said. “I fixed [the issues], and they said that it doesn’t matter.”
AID has filed more than 1,700 lawsuits in the Phoenix area in 2016. Nearly all of the cases allege handicap parking sign violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the lawsuits come with initial settlement demands reaching $7,500.
In response, Flake introduced a bill several weeks ago that would give businesses 120 days to fix violations before a lawsuit could be filed.
“We’re trying to get people to comply with the law and actually do something good instead of just line the pockets of these trolls,” Flake told ABC15 when he introduced the bill.
Flake told business owners that he’s speaking to leading lawmakers from both parties to create bipartisan support for his bill when the new Congress and Senate convene next year.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.