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Attorney General Moves To Intervene In Controversial Nonprofit's Lawsuits

(Photo courtesy of ADA.gov)
An example of ADA parking lot regulations.

Arizona’s attorney general says a local nonprofit is abusing the judicial system by suing about two thousand Valley businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On Wednesday, the attorney general filed a motion to intervene in the cases.

The organization Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities, or AID, has angered hundreds of business owners across the Valley in recent months with so-called “drive by lawsuits.” These complaints – generally identical – center on parking lot violations such as the height of a sign.

They demand not only a fix, but often thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. 

The organization has said it’s fighting for civil rights and giving the money back to those with disabilities. But the attorney general said AID is actually a serial litigator that appears to be engaging in “trolling” tactics meant to force defendants to settle quickly for money. The motion also argues AID is circumventing the state’s role in investigating and resolving ADA violations. 

The news follows the resignation of AID's director earlier this week. 

The group could not be immediately reached for comment. 

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.