BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer
A liquor store in Mountain View and a futon shop in Los Altos have joined a list of El Camino Real businesses sued by Scott Johnson, a quadriplegic attorney who has filed hundreds of lawsuits against California businesses alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Throughout last week, the Post has revealed similar stories of three Palo Alto motels and a Mountain View restaurant hit by Johnson’s lawsuits on El Camino.
The two additional lawsuits mean that Johnson has sued six El Camino businesses over disability access violations since April.
One of the motels, the Country Inn Motel, had been sued twice over ADA violations. The restaurant, Vive Sol, has been sued three times. Other businesses hit include the Stanford Motor Inn and the Travelodge.
Under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, successful plaintiffs can claim $4,000 in damages for each time they encountered a violation, on top of attorney fees.
When litigants like Johnson visit a business repeatedly without informing a business owner of the issue, those damages can stack up into a massive fine for business owners.
On April 5, Johnson sued Wine Press Liquors, 2100 W. El Camino Real, alleging the store had no wheelchair van-accessible parking, that the wheelchair ramp near the store’s front entrance is too steep and that paint in the parking lot was faded. Johnson claims he visited the store four times between February 2017 and January 2018.
On June 18, Johnson sued the Futon Shop at 4898 El Camino, claiming that he visited seven times between February 2017 and March 2018. Johnson claims he encountered a curb ramp with a steep slope, a front door handle that requires tight grasping and no access aisles for wheelchair-accessible van spaces.
Customer service manager Burt Bune said the store’s property manager had hired a construction company to bring the shop up to code.
“Really, the wheelchair accessibility is not too bad here at all,” Bune told the Post. “We have two ramps, and also both of my doors open … to get in the shop would be very easy.”
Johnson’s attorneys at the Center for Disability Access didn’t return a request for comment.