Former Lodi, California mayor James McCarty, 86, and his brother, Robert, 78, have sued Lodi attorney Russell Humphrey’s office for allegedly not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The McCarty brothers’ suit might not be newsworthy except that Humphrey, a private attorney suing on behalf of a single client, has targeted at least a dozen businesses in nearby Lockeford, California, for alleged ADA violations. Lockeford has slightly more than 3,000 residents and its Chamber of Commerce Web site lists only 50 businesses, so Humphrey has sued roughly a quarter of them. Among the businesses that Humphrey sued was James McCarty’s liquor store.
McCarty, disabled himself, said he discovered the attorney’s office had accessibility problems when he came to visit Humphrey to discuss his liquor store lawsuit.
The McCartys are asking the court to require Humphrey and the building’s owner to fix the building, Humphrey to take four California State Bar ethics classes, and Humphrey to apologize in writing for the emotional distress caused when he sued them on behalf of client Connie Moreno.
According to the McCartys’ attorney, Catherine Corfee, Moreno doesn’t actually shop in Lockeford but only visited once to find ADA violations for which she and Humphries Law Office could sue business owners.