In a new decision, a judge ruled that a controversial group filing huge batches of disability-access lawsuits does not have standing to bring cases in federal court and scolded the group’s attorneys.
Judge Murray Snow issued the order Thursday.
It’s a decision that could have broader implications as Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) fights unprecedented legal battles in state and federal court.
AID has filed the majority of its 1700 cases without a person listed as the plaintiff. Instead, the group lists itself as the plaintiff and argued that it’s suing on behalf of its “members.”
Recently, several federal judges have issued Orders to Show Cause, forcing AID to prove why it has the right to file these lawsuits.
After hearing an oral argument late last month, Snow’s ruling states that AID didn’t meet the legal burden to bring these cases.
“(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.
The case was remanded back to state court, where AID is currently locked in a battle with the Attorney General’s Office.
In the ruling, Snow also sanctioned a pair of AID attorneys, Peter Strojnik and Fabian Zazueta.
In the ruling, Snow wrote that both attorneys used “bait and switch maneuvers” and “have an established practice of misleading opposing counsel.”
For their “bad faith behavior,” Snow ordered that AID and its attorneys will have to reimburse the defendant’s legal fees.
ABC15 has previously reported that Strojnik was under investigation by the State Bar of Arizona for his conduct in these ADA lawsuits.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at email@example.com.