A small cadre of lawyers, some from out of state, are using New York City’s age and architectural quirkiness as the foundation for a flood of lawsuits citing violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The lawyers are generally not acting on existing complaints from people with disabilities. Instead, they identify local businesses, like bagel shops and delis, that are not in compliance with the law, and then aggressively recruit plaintiffs from advocacy groups for people with disabilities.
The plaintiffs typically collect $500 for each suit, and each plaintiff can be used several times over. The lawyers, meanwhile, make several thousands of dollars, because the civil rights law entitles them to legal fees from the noncompliant businesses.