San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin Investigates Presumably Frivolous ADA Lawsuits Concentrating on Chinatown Retailers – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office opens an investigation after his office said several traders in Chinatown were affected by possible bogus lawsuits and so-called “request letters”.
According to Boudin’s office, the lawsuits appear to have come from attorneys who say the companies failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“They are being exploited and blackmailing small businesses,” Boudin said at a briefing on Wednesday. “Not to justify the critical rights or inclusion of the disabled, but to shake down and blackmail those who are already suffering from a terrible pandemic and a wave of anti-Asian and anti-Chinese hatred in this country.”
Boudin said vendors in Chinatown are no more likely to break the ADA than any other business owner in town.
Edward Siu of the Chinatown Merchants United Association also spoke at the briefing on Wednesday and said, “The lawsuits are against hard-working, monolingual mom and pop shops in the oldest and largest Chinatown in the country. Many are still struggling through this pandemic. “
The district attorney continued, “We are concerned that potentially frivolous lawsuits not only fail to promote accessibility or disability rights, but instead force businesses to either shut down or pay off lawyers who have no interest in promoting disability rights.”
Boudin urged business owners who believe they have been victims of the lawsuits to call the prosecutor’s consumer protection and fraud hotline at 628-652-4311.