Local Business Owners Upset Over ‘Drive-By’ ADA Lawsuits

Local Business Owners Upset Over ‘Drive-By’ ADA Lawsuits

News Staff

Carlos Bravo opened his car shop in Desert Hot Springs about a year and a half ago. Little did he know, that he would receive a lawsuit for not having a ramp nor a handicap parking spot as regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bravos says this is the result of a so called “drive by lawsuit.” The plaintiff is Samuel Love, who Bravo says visited his shop twice in February but he never saw his face.

I never did business with him. He is not in our system as a customer,” says Bravo.

He says the man drove up to his business and left very quickly. This is also not the first time Love filed an ADA lawsuit.

Mike Carey, the owner of Mike’s Motorsports, had to paint handicap spots himself, and in addition, he still has to pay $11,000 for the lawsuit and attorney fees.

“I have 2 handicap people in wheelchairs in 20 years of business and now I get this lawsuit from someone who didn’t even want to be in my business but he wants money and his lawyers want money,” says Carey, who calls this a frivolous lawsuit.

Eddie Granados also owns a car shop and his story is no different. He says, “I already complied not just because of him. It’s not fair that I’m getting sued by someone that’s never been in the shop.”

All of the owners claim Mr. Love did not have intentions of doing business with them.

Bravo says lawyers have told him it’s a complicated case that could take a very long time. He hopes to see a law that would give business owners some time to comply and then move on to a lawsuit if no changes are made.

If the state is going to make a law change. We are really upset about it. In other states they already made the changes. It seems like these people are taking advantage of us,” says Bravo.

KMIR reached out to the Center for Disability Access, which is part of the law firm representing Samuel Love, but they would not give a response.