“ADA lawsuits questioned after serial plaintiff claiming emphysema caught on tape hiking”

James Farkus Cohan, who’s sued at least 161 businesses under California’s liberal version of the ADA as a disabled plaintiff, says he has end-stage emphysema, but a KABC investigation found him rather spry. Cohan’s other businesses, the station reports, include procurement of human organs for transplant. Lawmakers in Sacramento this year refused business pleas to tighten standards for filing the lucrative suits, which extract millions annually [via Lowering the Bar and Amy Alkon]


  • What would be wrong with a provision in the ADA that says a maximum of, say, 5 lawsuits per disabled person ?

  • mike – or pay a lump sum amount to everyone who is disabled and then sh*t can the law.

  • Another idea would be that companies have to fix the problem, but the filer get $0. I never quite understood the idea of being paid to find minor ADA violations with businesses.

  • The idea is that the government knows full well it has neither the time, personnel nor money to enforce the ADA rules, so they set up this (badly designed) bounty hunting system so that private citizens will volunteer to do it for them. It’s badly designed as there is no real incentive to fix things, just to collect bounties. There really ought to be a rule that if the problem gets fixed in says 90 days then the plaintiff get a nominal amount (like $50.00).

  • There also should be easily available, easily understood rules as to what is a violation and what is not.

  • As long as there is little risk of penalty to the filer of so many suspicious suits and so much money to be made by filing them, the problem will not go away.

  • Mike:

    CA only allows me to file two small claims lawsuits over $2500/year (it doesn’t matter if I win or lose the cases, etc)

    (For full details see http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/basic_info.shtml )

    If they can legally enforce this, I see no reason why they can’t use the same logic to limit the number of ADA claims for any one individual during the year.