The controversial group that’s filed large batches of disability lawsuits is re-inspecting businesses and hoping a judge will allow a one-size-fix-all approach to correct potential deficiencies in more than 1200 cases.
Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) is also pushing back against the Attorney General’s Office by seeking a court order to force the state agency to conduct periodic inspections for compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a court filing on October 19, AID is seeking to add three plaintiffs to more than 1200 open cases in an attempt to improve the group’s legal standing to bring the lawsuits.
The plaintiffs are AID’s current director and chairman, David Ritizenthaler, and two brothers, Jason and Danny Thomas, records show. Those plaintiffs also plan to re-inspect the businesses by mid-November.
Challenges to AID’s right to bring lawsuits have been made by the Attorney General’s Office and federal judges.
In a recent ruling, Judge Murray Snow tossed AID’s case out of federal court because the group sued without listing a person as a plaintiff.
“(AID) cannot assert that any individual suffered an injury-in-fact, and thus AID lacks the requisite standing to pursue this claim in federal court,” Snow wrote earlier this month.
It appears AID is hoping to avoid a mass dismissal of its remaining 1200-plus cases for similar reasons.
The vast majority of AID’s cases are filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, where the group is locked in an unprecedented legal battle with the Attorney General’s Office.
The state has already convinced a judge to consolidate all of AID’s open cases and intervene as a defendant. AG attorneys are poised to file for a mass dismissal of those cases in the coming weeks.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich told ABC15 it’s his office’s job to enforce ADA law – not a self-appointed group like AID.
In response, AID is pushing back.
The group is now seeking a court order to force the state to conduct periodic compliance reviews of Arizona facilities.
AID also dropped off a large stack of boxes filled with 9000 alleged complaints, which the AG’s office is currently reviewing.
***See pictures of the boxes in the video above
The vast majority of AID lawsuits allege signage violations in businesses’ parking lots. An ABC15 investigation revealed that AID demands thousands of dollars to settle the cases.