Drive Down Your Client’s Chances of Being Sued in an ADA Lawsuit

In recent months, a handful of serial plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against automobile dealerships in San Diego, California claiming these dealerships are discriminating against them in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and related state laws. Although we are not aware of these types of suits being filed in other places, dealers nationwide should be aware of these claims. The plaintiffs claim the dealerships refused to provide and install hand control devices on vehicles for persons with disabilities to test drive the dealers’ vehicles. The complaints are nearly identical in each instance, and the plaintiffs are represented by the same law firm. In fact, the plaintiff is the same man in all but one of the nine cases we identified.

Defendant dealerships have filed motions to dismiss several of these cases, and the results to date are mixed. Most judges reviewing these cases have found that the plaintiffs’ legal theory is insufficient. Another judge denied a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the complaint stated a legally sufficient cause of action and the case is moving forward. As of this writing, there are five more cases in which are pending the respective defendants’ motions to have the cases dismissed, and another case was filed the week of August 10.

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