North Beach: Remember those ADA lawsuits that were killing an entire block of North Beach eateries because of some tiny steps? Well, the influx of questionable lawsuits is just getting started, and NBC has a full report from the actual lawyer who is behind them. This Thomas E. Frankovich fellow delivers some memorable lines (i.e., "if he was abusing his power, he would sue nearly every business on the street"), but let's focus on the restaurant side of things.
According to court documents, the (alleged) general pattern is that small business owners get intimidated into settling out of court, which is the very option XOX Truffles and its neighbors on the 700 block of Columbus are considering. However, they've asked the small business commission to step in and warn others before more suits are filed, but it might be too late for XOX, which is considering settling to avoid the mess:
XOX Truffles is getting a removable ramp made for the shop, because the building can't handle a structural modification, NBC11 reported.Like we said when this story was first gaining legs a few weeks ago: there's nothing wrong with helping out the disableds, but given that there have been no complaints, how is this allowed to happen? We realize there are some loopholes at work and it's technically a federal law issue, but heavens.
The business is also in talks with Frankovich about settling to avoid a costly trial, according to NBC11.
· Lawyer Files Multiple Handicapped Access Lawsuits In North Beach [NBC]
· ADA Suits, Tiny Steps Terrorize North Beach Eateries [Eater SF]
· Ramp Rampage: Lawyer Sues With Reckless Abandon [Curbed]