Bringing at least temporary relief to hundreds of businesses operating in Arizona, the state’s presiding disciplinary judge entered an order suspending Arizona attorney Peter Strojnik from the practice of law on an indefinite basis.
Just as one flood of lawsuits against Arizona businesses finally dries up, another downpour begins. Peter Strojnik of Phoenix, the same attorney who filed more than 1,100 lawsuits that drew the attention of the Arizona attorney general, has filed approximately 60 new lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against motels and places of lodging in the last three months in federal court in Arizona.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just signed into law an amendment to the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) designed to make it more difficult to bring lawsuits against businesses based on claims that they are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. The amendment requires potential plaintiffs to give business owners notice of alleged access violations and allows businesses 30-90 days to correct the issues before a lawsuit can be filed.
An Arizona judge dismissed more than 1,100 lawsuits against Arizona businesses alleging that their parking lots are not accessible to persons with disabilities. Judge David M. Talamante rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) permits any person who believes a place of public accommodation has violated the act to bring a civil action.
It was only a matter of time until the flood of litigation over the accessibility of websites to persons with disabilities reached Arizona. Recently it did when an Arizona man and his attorney filed lawsuits against four Arizona businesses alleging that their websites are not accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA). All of the lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by Joseph Charles on behalf of James Close, who claims to be a resident of Texas and legally blind.
On September 23, 2016, an Arizona judge granted at least a temporary reprieve to more than 1,100 Arizona businesses that have been beleaguered by lawsuits alleging that their parking lots lack sufficient accessible parking spaces for the disabled, or that spaces are not marked with adequate signage. The Honorable David M. Talamante entered an order consolidating and temporarily staying all of the cases that remain pending out of more than 1,500 cases filed in Arizona this year by a single plaintiff’s counsel, Peter Strojnik, and his affiliated clients alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA).