A North County man has filed a disability access lawsuit against according to a News 8 report.
But restaurant owner Tony Vasquez wonders if the plaintiff, Gabino Sanchez, is on a crusade to make access easier for people with disabilities—or out to make a buck.
According to KFMB reporter Shannon Handy, Sanchez—who uses a wheelchair—and his lawyer, Roy Landers, have filed dozens of these lawsuits in the past year and a half.
Handy says Landers has a history of filing accessibility lawsuits and was the target of a criminal investigation in 2004 involving false claims.
Sanchez claims the restaurant doesn’t have a proper ramp or disabled parking. That’s taken Vasquez by surprise—especially since his business has a ramp up to the entrance and designated parking for people with disabilities.
“We just all of a sudden got this letter saying we were being sued,” Vasquez told Handy. “It’s very clear this person is out to make money any way they can.”
In August alone, Sanchez filed 12 lawsuits against a variety of business in the county, including restaurants, gas stations, independent markets and liquor stores.
A check of court records shows he has sued more than 60 businesses since 2011 in the San Diego, North County, South County and East County courts.
According to the North County Times, Sanchez is an Oceanside resident and his lawyer, Landers, “has been the attorney of record in more than 100 civil rights lawsuits filed in San Diego Superior Court, most since 2005. He is also the attorney of record in nearly 500 federal cases involving accessibility, many of them filed before 2006.”
The newspaper added:
In 2005, the Sacramento Bee listed Landers among a list of attorneys who the paper said were the top 10 filers of federal suits regarding accessibility for the disabled that year.