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ADA ‘activist’ is truly a bully

By Doug Miller

Resident, La Jolla

You do all genuine “activists” who truly believe in their causes a great disservice by repeatedly referring to lawyer Theodore Pinnock as an “ADA activist.” As the article explains, Pinnock “sweeps” into an area such as La Jolla or Julian and threatens business owners with ADA lawsuits if any compliance issues are discovered. Of course, most are settled out of court by owners wishing to avoid costly litigation. I strongly urge business owners to stand strong and countersue for frivolous litigation as the Julian owners did. Like a cockroach when the light comes on, Pinnock “went away.” Don’t give in to this bully who only wants the quick score, not any kind of reform or activism.

True advocates for the disabled should be as upset with Pinnock and his ilk as the affected business owners. Pinnock’s approach is counter-productive in getting people to understand the needs of the disabled. As the vice president of the Julian Chamber of Commerce says, "... now, when they see a wheelchair coming — they lock their doors.” Personally, I followed the suggestions of a “certified access specialist” and spent over $30,000 on “ADA compliance” for my business (a medical practice) just to avoid these hassles, even though the business had operated for over 30 years taking care of the elderly and disabled on a daily basis with no complaints.

Why not let the free market drive this “reform?” Those companies who do not make their business accessible to their customers, whatever their needs, will not do as well as those that do. And if there is a violation of a law, shouldn’t the government step in with a fine or demand for resolution? By allowing civil litigation, the 1990 ADA law opened the door for opportunists like Pinnock to harass honest business owners. Stand strong, La Jolla business owners; don’t give in!