Recently, at least three attorneys who formerly worked for Center for Disability Access (AKA Potter Handy, LLP) branched off and founded a new firm called Seabock Price, APC. The founding attorneys are Amanda Seabock, Christopher Seabock and Dennis Price. The new law firm is based in Pasadena, California.
Seabock Price has been filing disability discrimination lawsuits against businesses and landlords in California. Generally, these lawsuits are filed on behalf of serial plaintiffs who have filed many nearly identical cases for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and/or the California Disabled Persons Act.
The lawsuits are generally filed on behalf of one of the following plaintiffs:
- Rafael Arroyo
- Dolores Lara-Fierro
- Christopher Langer
- Raul Uriarte Limon
- Dwain Lammey
- Martin Vogel
- Anthony R. Gandara
- Breanna Ballard
- Jose Madriz
- Tonia Sartin
From what we have seen, these cases are usually filed in Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles. The lawsuits can be filed in other counties as well. These lawsuits generally allege that the plaintiff is disabled and visited the property or business but encountered barriers to access, such as issues with the accessible parking slope, signage, path of travel to the entrance, checkout counters, bathrooms or other features. The complaints generally look something like this:
It's very important to note that you have limited time to respond to a lawsuit like this. The date of service (receipt of the lawsuit from plaintiff) either by mail or in person, triggers the start of the clock. If the lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court, you have 30 days to respond. If it was filed in U.S. District Court (federal court), you have 21 days to respond.
The next step is to investigate the facts to determine if the claims have merit. Some lawsuits like this lack merit, either because the property is compliant or there are problems with the plaintiff's claims. Perhaps the plaintiff lacks the standing required by a court to raise the claims because the barriers alleged don't relate to the plaintiff's disability. Perhaps the court has no jurisdiction. See our articles on these and related topics:
Alternatively, if your consultant investigates the alleged ADA violations and determines that the allegations have merit, you can explore settlement of the case. The objective of this approach is to negotiate the best terms available given the facts. I and other JMBM attorneys seek to leverage defense arguments and evidence on your behalf to negotiate the best outcome possible when settlement is the goal. We have defended hundreds of similar lawsuits and litigated against the attorneys at Seabock Price in many past cases. Resolving the lawsuit in the most efficient way possible for our clients is our goal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.