Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pinnock Hits Solana Beach

See this article, which begins:

The lawyer who raised hackles a year ago when he sued dozens of Julian businesses over lack of access for the disabled brought his fight to Solana Beach on Thursday.

A lawsuit targeting Cole's Carpets in the Cedros Design District is one of 300 that attorney Theodore Pinnock says he has filed since his self-dubbed "Julian Experiment" made headlines.

Pinnock, who himself has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, is well-known for his many lawsuits targeting businesses over disability access issues.

Pinnock argues in the new lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, that wheelchair-using visitors to the Solana Beach location of Cole's Carpets are greeted by steps at the entrance, with no ramp or lift to help them enter the store.

Attorney David Peters, who has battled Pinnock many times in court, is representing Coles in a suit Pinnock filed earlier this year that challenges access issues in another Coles location in San Diego. Peters said he'd not yet seen the suit filed Thursday targeting the Solana Beach location, but said his client is still fighting the first suit.

Pinnock's latest lawsuit comes a year after he made headlines for sending letters to 67 businesses in the mountain hamlet of Julian, demanding that store owners and landlords make their shops accessible to the disabled ---- and pay up to the tune of $200,000 ---- or he would take them to court for violating federal civil rights laws guaranteeing access.

Business owners and others balked, calling Pinnock's notice letters a shakedown tactic to make money.

The ire led Pinnock to drop his practice of sending out the notice letters ---- which he said actually helped prevent lawsuits by seeking settlements before the issue landed in court ---- and instead would take his complaints straight to court.
For my take on these issues, see my article in the October issue of the UCLA Law Review.


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