Framing the Dialogue

Americans With Deep Pockets Act

“A Florida nonprofit that has sued more than 700 businesses claiming they violate disability access laws targeted at least two Pittsburgh hotels in its latest round of court action.”

That is the first paragraph in a story carried in our local paper about a group that targeted two Holiday Inn Hotels for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  When you look at the surface of the story it sounds like a worthy organization (it is a nonprofit) is suing a big corporation (it is for profit) on behalf of disabled people.  A few things jump out from the article:

  • The biggest red flag is that the manager of one of the hotels claimed that the issue alleged in the suit was false.  A claim in the suit stated that the facility did not have roll-in showers while the manager stated that they were installed in 2000.   Which leads to…
  • Why is a Florida organization suing hotels from Pennsylvania?  If the hotel manager is correct one has to wonder whether the group had even been to the hotel.  Which leads to…
  • The story also stated that the group had sued over 700 businesses.  Several sources claim that there are over 55 million Americans have disabilities (that is OVER 18 PERCENT).  I have to wonder whether the nonprofit’s business is to sue other businesses?  A profile of the group showed that they have less than $25,000 in income.  How does an organization pay lawyers to file over 700 lawsuits in numerous states (a majority were filed in Florida) yet still have income under $25k?  Have you ever had to hire a lawyer?  Which leads to…
  • Where does the money go?  The article also referenced a series six of similar lawsuits filed in Dayton last year where three were settled which means that the businesses likely made a financial decision to pay up rather than fight.  I don’t mind being cynical so I have to ask who got the money if money changed hands?  After all every lawyer is not honest and there have been reports of other groups filing similar suits that were found to be less than altruistic.  Which leads to…
  • Who polices the lawyers and these groups that file so many lawsuits?  How much does this cost the American taxpayer?  Which leads to…
  • When companies have to respond to these suits what does that cost them?  Who really pays?  Any chance that the costs are added to your hotel bill?  Which leads to…
  • Why doesn’t someone expose all of these abuses?  Is there a fear from news organizations to expose abuses of the ADA?  Does political correctness take precedent over journalism?  John Stossel has done some stories on the abuse, but where are the others?  Which leads to…

The End

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