The District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco and the District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles recently filed a lawsuit against Potter Handy, LLP, a law firm that files lawsuits against businesses citing the Americans for Disabilities Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act.
The complaint states (in part):
- The firm circumvents California’s procedural reforms on abusive disability litigation by filing lawsuits that assert its clients have standing under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the state Unruh Civil Rights Act claim. These false standing allegations allow the firm to obtain federal court jurisdiction, thus bypassing the reforms.
- Potter Handy uses “Serial Filers” against California businesses to file false claims. They demand damages of at least $4,000.00 per alleged violation. Yet, most small businesses are unable to afford the risk and expense of litigation, so they are forced to settle with the firm at large sums.
- Many of the owners that Potter Handy targets are immigrants, or individuals unexperienced in navigating the American legal system. All businesses are fighting their way to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and today owners that settled with Potter Handy are still trying to recoup the amounts they spent in settlement.
- The District Attorneys are requesting the Court to order Potter Handy, LLP to restore every person of interest all money and property which was paid to the Defendants by way of their false lawsuits. This will include return of all settlement payments and attorney’s fees awarded to Defendants.
DPA Attorneys at Law will continue to defend business owners against Potter Handy and other serial filers. However, it is our duty as a community to meet with our government officials encouraging them to take further steps to end these frivolous lawsuits.