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Today, we got sued!

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by JRB, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    I agree Bob, and I truly hope the guy would disappoint the doubters and turn out to be a gentleman and an angel!
     
  2. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John, you are a lot more submissive in this matter than I would be. Instead of rationalizing this man's contempt, I would tend to respond in kind. I would certainly work to minimize my losses, but there is no sympathy in my heart for human parasites like him.

    If sanity and compassion were involved here, then you might have first received a pleasant letter with a reminder of the law, a request to comply, and perhaps suggestions on how to do it.

    Sanity and compassion -- his, yours, or anyone else's -- are not involved here. His zeal in using the letter of law to pursue money, and his desire to inflict punishment on businesses seem to be the main issues.

    That notwithstanding, sanity and compassion are not determined by hardship. Many fortunate people are quite lacking in compassion, and many who are unfortunate are amazingly compassionate. His hardship does not justify his contempt for the businesses he chooses to extort.

    The question of "Who got screwed the worst in this life" is not a legitimate measure of your financial responsibility to this man.

    How much should you be required to pay him for his contempt for you?

    It seems you will get your store as compliant as he demands under law. Your "hope it is good enough" may be irrelevent; it might be unwise to expect any cooperation.
     
  3. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    My question is if he has not actually filed suit, and you are complient, then what grounds does he have for the suit. The fact that you weren't complient before the he files is illrealavent. I would not offer anything other than a tour to him. Thank him for his concern about the disabled and send him on his way.

    If he still files after your store is fully complient then it would be a truely frivalous suit.

    Till he files it is just extortion.
     
  4. Rogatory

    Rogatory SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John,
    I read Bob’s post and thought he was crazy (at first) but have had time to think about what he suggested and think you could kick his advice up a notch.

    Go ahead and become ADA compliant. Then hold a press conference stating that Mr. X brought it to your attention that you and your neighbors were breaking the ADA law and you have seen the error of your ways now all is good on Point Loma Ave. again. If you can get Mr. X there for a photo shoot, smile in his general direction, act like you are the best of friends, then give him a great big hug (he wont avoid it if the press is there).
    The goodwill on your part makes you look like the swell guy you are and positive towards your community.
    I think you could change this guy’s extortion tactics in YOUR favor.
     
  5. dominoguru2

    dominoguru2 True Grumbler

    I have a copyright issue in the past regarding a very old photo of a city. I was able to find a law discussion board and posted my inquiry and a bunch of lawyers offered me free advice. It was extremely useful and free. I look everywhere to find the law discussion board but I lost it. I don't know where it is.

    Perhaps you can google a law or legal discussion forum. I am no lawyer but my two cents is that building owners are liable and not the business owners regarding disability parking or signs.

    However, if it is in your business then you are liable. If it is outside your business then it is the property owner.
     
  6. pcascio

    pcascio Guest

    FramingFool and Paul N got it right. When the Claimant demanded immediate payment or the amount would increase by $10,000 each weak (correct me if my memory has failed here) one detects the foul smell of extortion.

    There wasn't even mention of remedying the probblem; only a demand for "compensation."
     
  7. Lance E

    Lance E Member

    It's extortion at any level, understandable or not. Even worse is that the law makes it legal!

    This chap is doing a job that perhaps should have been done by a government agency, as I see it he's basically creating a private funding scheme to ensure compliance, a form of tax if you will.
     
  8. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    I wonder why, when the lawsuit "letter" orignally came out, he didn't identify himself at that time as also being handicapped, as well as his "client"? BTW, did you ever find out how much compensation his clients are getting from him? (Notice, I didn't say how much of their compensation he is getting from them...)? and yes, it is too, relevant, IMHO.

    Why, when he begins to experience heat from the other side, is he now coming out with the "look-at-me-poor-guy-I'm-just-trying-to-do-the-right-thing".

    Sorry, but I'm not inclined to cross over to his side now, wheelchair or not. If he truly does have compliance in his clients' best interest, he's going about it in a strange, and very unethical way.

    Changing his story in the middle of the heat is suspicious at best.
     
  9. TheGeneral

    TheGeneral Grumbler

    The first thing that I would do is get another lawyer. If your lawyer really has one attorney handling this rogue ambulance chaser full time, then they ought to know how to beat him. Then I would sue the black broad for driving blind (one would assume that she wouldbe able to see somewhat, but may be declared legally blind...there is adifference)for driving impaired (BLIND) and endangering the lives of others. If she is blind, what the **** is she doing in a frame shop anyway. Finally, I believe that there are provisions in the Handicap Act that allows for "reasonable compliance". In other words, you don't to meet the letter of the law for every little item in the Act if you can show reasonable intention for compliance. Also it has to do with local building codes.....for instance, if the local code does not require a electronic fire alarm system then you are not required to audible/visual alarms, etc for the impaired.
    The(Kick-*** and Take Names)General...OUT.
     
  10. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sounds like JRB has this under control.

    I wonder how long we're going to keep suggesting that the lawyer, and his client, both be lynched.
     
  11. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm sure no harm was intended but I'm not real comfortable with the phrase "black broad". It seems demeaning. How about "Wheelchair bound woman" or "handicapped lady"? I'm sure it is just me.....

    Welcome to the Grumble anyway "General".
     
  12. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    ....and John, I'm impressed with your attitude once again.
     
  13. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Maybe a few hundred notches! I like what Rogatory said about bringing in the press.

    There was a Boston Legal that did this very thing. A private school turned down a girl due to a handicap (hmmm). They brought the schools lawyer into their office and made an offer to let the girl into the school. The school's lawyer wanted to decline, but when he saw the press outside the door, he couldn't say no in front of the news camera.

    Although it is easier for all of us to say what we would do, then for John to actually live it. All the best to you John, but play this one to the end so that every $ you spend/pay out gets you something worth 100x more!!!!
     
  14. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I can understand everyone getting all upset about this, I know I sure the heck did. The reality is, just from a business standpoint, I want to end this in the shortest amount of time and at the least cost to me.

    I spent my entire youth kicking butt and taking names, and I have the scars to prove it. All it ever did for me was, as I was getting bones set and stitches put in, I got to feel like a real winner, wow, what a thrill.

    In the real world, not many people can pull a Roy Rogers. ( That's when you get in a bar brawl and don't even get your hat knocked off,) Most folks end up with lumps and bruises, win or lose. I'm to old for that **** now, I don't wanna do it no more.

    I will let him be the winner, (I've won enough times,) and I'll be done with it. Stuff just happens, it's part of living, make the best of it, then get on with what is left of your life.

    I am meeting him on Monday, my attitude can change then, I certainly hope it doesn't. I will let everyone know the outcome.

    John
     
  15. Janet L

    Janet L SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good luck in your meeting John. As one of my best friends always says, "H@ll ain't gonna be big enough for all the folks heading there!"
     
  16. Bob Roy

    Bob Roy CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    As you have said earlier, it is in your best interest to get this cleared up and get back to work in your now ADA compliant shop (see some good comes of this).

    Working from some of Bob Carter's suggestions... Perhaps you could bring your checkbook with you. When you come up with a figure, pull out the checkbook write out the amount and say "Shall I make this out to XYZ Association?..." (whichever association deals with his condition) as you hand him a press release detailing your agreement, praising his efforts in bringing this to your attention and announcing your compliance to the ADA. "...and shall I send the press release or do you prefer to?"

    Best case scenario he goes for it. If he doesn't you at least have the fun of putting him on the spot for a bit...
     
  17. Rogatory

    Rogatory SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob, poke John with a fork, he's done.
     
  18. FramingFool

    FramingFool In Corner

    Just a couple of quick observations:

    JRB, you have to understand that this is an adversarial relationship .... this guy's mission as an attorney is to make the most of weaknesses as they present themselves, and you're doin' a **** of a job for him.

    When this thing finally sorts itself out, look me up ... I know of a bridge between Manhatten and Brooklyn that you might be interested in.
     
  19. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    FramingFool, after consultation with my attorney at $300.00 per hour, I have elected to follow her sound advise in order to keep my costs at a level that will not force me into bankruptcy. She has assured me that if I take this all the way, I will spend well over $50,000.00, and I will still have to get my store in compliance.

    Lets see now, should I spend five or six thousand and have to get in compliance, OR, should I spend fifty or sixty thousand and have to get in compliance?

    This is a tough dilemma for me, I just don't know the best way to go. I honestly appreciate your free, and obviously, educated opinion, please tell me again what you would do.

    John
     
  20. FramingFool

    FramingFool In Corner

    Get in compliance .... once you've done that, the whole issue is "fait au complis" .... this is, there is no issue.

    Don't cozy up to the oppostion ... they're there to screw you.
     
  21. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Yeesh! Give John a break! He strikes me as a person who can make an informed, intelligent decision, and he is the best informed of any of us about the particular situation that he is in right now.

    This post caught my eye when it first went up. I was aware of this particular lawyer through the experience of some friends in California. He has brought hundreds of cases against a number of businesses. He has commented that he has a theory that it is more cost and time effective to bring suit against every business in a town or district
    than to do it one at a time. He has posted information about himself on the internet, including a poem that he wrote as a young boy. He has strong feelings that businesses have had long enough to come into ADA compliance. He is seen as a courageous man amoung many disabled, achieving in rapid order what many see as a law that was seldom enforced.

    He has also uncovered issues about differences between California's ADA code, building codes, and the federal ADA code. Some of the businesses which he has served compliance complaints on were certified as ADA compliant by the state of California.

    His methods have also been adopted by other lawyers, and some businesses have been served with multiple compliance compliants before they have been able to comply with the first one.

    I wish you the very best, John. You have shown a far better side than I think most of us would be able to do if we were in the same situation.
     
  22. Mike LeCompte CPF

    Mike LeCompte CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Kathy dear, you're way too PC. Note in one of his posts, JRB refers to "that shyster". Guess you hate that too? Or did you miss that?

    As I posted on my own thread awhile back, many people in the disability community are angry, in-your-face type people seeking to gain economic or psychological advantages.

    Hope everything turns out OK JRB And please do post results.
     
  23. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Kathy is the voice of reason and our conscience.

    Sometimes she is too PC, but I could live with that.

    I like having Kathy around, reminding us when we stray a bit.

    God bless her gentle soul.
     
  24. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I has the ADA consultants in today, things are not all that bad as far as getting in compliance, including the timetable.My landlord is going to have to pay for the bulk of the costly stuff, which isn't all that much. The handicapped parking area has to be resealed and new striping. A few signs and my isle ways cleared up a little.

    Now all I have to do is reach a realistic settlement with the guy on Monday.

    I had one of my wheelchair bound clients in today, nice Irish lady. She was bristling at the mere mention of the guys name. She said he represents himself as a great leader of the handicapped cause, she said he is not even close.

    She genuinely hates this guy. Apparently he is turning peoples opinions off toward the handicapped, said he is doing a whole lot more harm than good. She wanted to be at the meeting so she could dump on him, I told her no way was that going to happen. So it goes, on and on.

    One thing I should pass on to everyone is that wherever you have stairs or bathrooms, put a sign up that reads, " Employees Only, beyond this point." Hang this across the bottom of the stairways on a rope, this includes stairways in the back of your shop. Attach it to the walls beside bathrooms. Never tell anyone, no matter how well you know them, that they can use your bathroom. Get an ADA consultant into your shop as soon as you can. Your lawyer can refer one to you.

    John
     
  25. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John, is this recommendation related to ADA concerns, or is there another reason?

    Our storefront is only 4 years old and probably still meets all of the ADA requirements. Handicap ramps outside, plenty of handicap parking. No stairs, and the bathroom is handicap-equipped with side rails, faucet levers, etc. All of our aisles, in botrh the front and back rooms, are close to 48" wide.

    So, should I restrict invited guests to see my back room or use my bathroom, as you suggest?
     
  26. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    No visits to our back room (where the washroom is) unless they are specifically pre planned. Customer art is often valuable and sometimes very private. And we are often distracted and can't keep an eye on other folks. Keep out!
     
  27. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hey Michael, I think his use of "shyster" was okay because he feels that he is one, that is okay. I just think referring to somebody as a "black broad" is disrespectful. I don't know man, it just put my teeth on edge.

    Paul, I am not really the gentle soul you describe, but I'll take it! [​IMG] It will help even out the rough edges.
     
  28. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I thought I was the one who called the attorney a shyster, but I'm not going back through six pages to find out for sure.

    I have no problem with a gentle reminder when I've strayed from my usual PC-ness. Several years ago, I said something about "the girls in the office" and I was reminded, by the husband of one of the "girls," that they were all adult women. I didn't much like it at the time, but I doubt that I've repeated that particular faux pas. (I have to think up new ones.)

    Like all things, it can be carried too far. I refuse to call myself a fisherperson when I'm sitting it a boat trying, usually unsuccessfully, to catch a fish.
     
  29. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been following this thread since the beginning and I have sincere sympathy for John and anyone else in this situation.
    Down here in Oz we are amazed by many things that happen in your legal system, but this one takes the cake.
    Perhaps you should think about removing the words "Land of the FREE" in your national anthem. Seems like there's not much freedom in government backed extortion of businesses!
     
  30. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Jim, if you are in full compliance, then no, you should not restrict anyone from using your facilities. That was only for the folks that do not meet ADA requirements for their bathrooms, or they do not have an ADA approved elevator to get up or down those stairs. If you are retailing any products in unaccessible areas, stop doing it.

    John
     
  31. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ormond, Land of the free is just an ideal, not a fact. It's much like the queen of England does not actually rule the country.

    Americans are one of the most regulated peoples on the face of the earth. We pass over a thousand new laws and regulations every year, in just about every state. This is what we, as a "free" people want, we vote this way every chance we get. It is rare when a law is actually removed from the books.

    Myself, I don't think we have enough laws, we need lots more. How would we possibly know how to conduct our lives if we did not have laws and regulations?
    It will not be too many years before each free American will have a teeny, convenient little chip, placed just under their skin. This chip will give instant information to our authorities and medical personnel. The chip will also, more than likely, have GPS capabilities as well. You just never know when one of us may become lost.

    The chip program will start with our children as a free, voluntary program. Most parents will feel they are "bad" parents if they don't comply. It will eventually be a mandated program for all school children. Eventually, as all us old folks with old fashion notions about freedom die off, our population will be convinced that true freedom is having a chip.

    John
     
  32. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Dang John, how can you go from Dr.Phil common sense one post to "One Flew Over the Coo-coos Nest" crazy in the same thread? We are going to make a new regulation about this.
     
  33. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Jay, not so crazy, a few people in California have already started putting the chips in their kids, not as far fetched as it sounds. You are right though, after fourty years in frame shops, I've got to be a little loony, all those sprays and such.

    So whats the new rule going to be, you can't go from your real world to lucidity in the same thread? [​IMG]

    John
     
  34. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree with John on the chip thing. I knew that once we started putting them in our pets that it was just a matter of time until we "justify" why they should be in humans as well.

    I really thought the first would be in prisoners released back into society.

    We really really need to track those people you know.
     
  35. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I hate to break it to you all, but they're putting those chips in framers who are released back into society.

    I think it's a good thing. If I get lost, I can call the authorities and they can tell me where I am. I don't have to spend $900 on a good GPS unit.
     
  36. Mike LeCompte CPF

    Mike LeCompte CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    If I recall correctly, tomorrow is the Big Day. Just have one more thing to add, and this from 14 years' experience in the disability community.

    DO NOT TRY TO HELP THESE PEOPLE> By that I mean, hold doors open, ask if you can be of assistance, etc. If I'm reading it right--and I think I am--these people are taking pride in their independence. And to ask if they want assistance, or if you offer to hold doors, etc, it may be taken in the incorrect light.

    Also note their wheelchairs. IF they do not have "handles" on the back--like for someone to push it--it is definitely a "code" that the chair is to be handled only by the owner and they do not want any help at all.

    Good luck, will be thinking of you guys, and let us know how it turns out
     
  37. HannaFate

    HannaFate SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    [ 04-23-2006, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
     
  38. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hanna, I wish you had not done that until I settled with this guy. PLEASE, PLEASE, ALL YOU GRUMBLERS. DO NOT START E-MAILING AND SLAMMING THIS GUY UNTIL I CAN SETTLE WITH HIM. HE CAN OPT NOT TO SETTLE. THIS THING COULD COST ME MY BUSINESS, AND POSSIBLY MY HOME, JUST IN LAWYERS FEES. PLEASE WAIT! THIS IS NOT A FUN THING, PLEASE DO NOT SCREW IT UP FOR ME. I AM WAY TO OLD TO TRY AND START OVER FROM SCRATCH.

    THANKS,

    JOHN
     
  39. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Mike,

    I am confused at your last post, are you saying that we should not hold doors for people in wheelchairs? Or are you saying just the person/people involved in this case?

    I will say that from my personal experience that is just rude. No matter if someone is trying to be independant or not, it is polite to hold doors. My mother was in a wheelchair from the time I was in high school til she passed away in 2000, over 15 years, and the one thing that really p'd me off was people who would not take the time to hold the door for my mother when we were out. I always make sure to hold doors for anyone in a wheelchair, even if they do have someone with them, and others should as well.
     
  40. Framerguy

    Framerguy PFG, Picture Framing God

    All right people, it's about time we all butt out of John's business and let him handle things in a timely manner!!! I think it is quite rude and presumptuous of anyone to take matters into their own hands and email this guy or attempt to make contact in any way until this is finalized.

    IT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS FOLKS!!!!!

    And to possibly jeopardize a man's business that he has run for so many years just to claim that you had a hand in his welfare is more than not called for. Use a little common sense for gosh sakes!!

    John, I hope you will do well with this situation and come to a fast and economical conclusion. None of us would trade places with you and I am astounded that anyone would try to interfere in something so important to your livlihood and your life.

    Good luck tomorrow.

    Framerguy
     
  41. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What Framerguy said!!!!!
     
  42. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks Framerguy, I am truly grateful for your input. I just hope nobody has done anything yet. I started this thread and continued on with it without mentioning the guys name, I guess I was just not thinking straight. I never should have started the thread until things had been resolved completely.

    Ron, THANKS!

    John
     
  43. AnneL

    AnneL SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Good Luck today John.

    I hold doors for people whether they are in a wheelchair or not. To do otherwise would be rude. It's common corteousy and should not be viewed as patronising.
     
  44. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm grateful for every stranger that has opened a door for me, picked something up when I dropped it, carried my tiny grocery bag and other selfless acts of kindness.

    I'm not in a wheelchair, "just" on a cane and lately, a walker. Had they stood by while I struggled to "do it on my own", I would have been embarrassed,frustrated and probably just stayed at home. We always have the choice to say "no thank you, I can handle this one, but thanks".

    My handicap is temporary, others aren't so lucky. I will always lend a helping hand until they tell me otherwise. Very few will be offended, more will be grateful. If I make the effort, I can live with myself and be a better human being for it. Please, people, don't ever stop being kind.

    Good luck today, John. May we all learn some valuable lessons through his difficult experience here.
     
  45. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    WOW!

    Hanna got edited by Ron. It must have been bad.
     
  46. HannaFate

    HannaFate SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No, it was just the name, address, phone number and website of the "lawyer".

    Don't worry John, I have not contacted him in any way.

    In retrospect, I'm glad it was deleted. Not all Grumblers have my self-restraint! [​IMG]
     
  47. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK, here it is. He came with an assistant and met with my attorney this morning at ten. The guy is in really bad shape, I could barely understand him. He would speak, then his assistant would translate.

    We agreed on $800.00 settlement and providing I get my store in full compliance within 90 days.

    My store is almost there now. I have to clear my isle ways and put up a couple more signs. My attorney still has to draw up the final settlement agreement, then get him to sign it.

    I wrote him the check while he was here. It is not a done deal until the agreement is signed and my shop is in full compliance, so PLEASE, don't start slamming him.

    I got off pretty lucky, it could have been a whole lot worse.

    John
     
  48. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Congratulations John, this is a very good outcome.

    I hope it gets finalized so you could relax at last. You really need a vacation after this!
     
  49. Framerguy

    Framerguy PFG, Picture Framing God

    That's terrific, John!

    I am really glad that this has turned out that well for you. This could have been any one of us in this situation and I know that what you have gone through and have shared with the rest of us will help somebody in the future if this comes up the again.

    $800 is alot of money no matter how you slice it but it could have been so much worse had the guy gotten hard nosed about it. I hope that we can put this behind us and not play silly little kid's games with this guy. What's to gain by trashing him or sending vindictive emails after the fact??

    Framerguy
     
  50. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Close call, John, glad the results weren't too painful.

    I think we have all benefited from your story.
     
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