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A Chicago lawyer, already accused by Illinois legal regulators of running a “shakedown” scheme, and his former partner have been criminally charged for their work, purportedly on behalf of businesses holding the rights to pornographic videos, to collect millions of dollars in settlements from people across the country they accused of illegally downloading the porn content.
Whether it’s the cost of compliance - in the form of handicapped restrooms, ramps, elevators or even simple signage – or the cost of a trial, the dollars can add up quickly for small businesses facing accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Last year, of the 94 ADA accessibility lawsuits filed in Chicago's federal courts, 77 of them came from just eight plaintiffs. And most of those were represented by one of two legal practices, leading some of those sued to assert they were targeted by serial litigators.
Easy Access: Chicago shops large & small latest targets of growing trend of ADA Title III accessibility lawsuits
The odds that an individual shop or restaurant could be hit with a disability equal access lawsuit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act remains small. But the likelihood is increasing, as more lawyers take aim at shops of all sizes, including owners of small mom-and-pop shops in older buildings.