A(NOTHER) SCAM TO WATCH FOR
Some enterprising scam artists have figured out how to manipulate federal ADA laws in order to make a quick buck. (What happened to an old-fashioned lemonade stand?) These often out-of-state hustlers go into a mall, shopping center, or other business, claim an ADA violation, and immediately file a federal lawsuit. Horack Talley Pharr & Lowndes real estate lawyer Henry Pharr (above) says it's customary for property owners found in violation to simply be given a chance to correct the problem. Instead, the scammers claim their civil rights have been denied. Of course, they're willing to settle for some cash. The legal bills to fight such claims, however, may cost property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars. California has made these cases subject to judicial review before going to court. But so far, NC hasn?t gone that route. Horack Talley has made a specialty of getting these claims either dismissed or otherwise adjudicated without going to trial. Their main defense: force the offended party to prove actual harm and demonstrate an ?intent to return,? a legal expression meaning that the ?wronged? individual actually frequents a particular business. This often thwarts scammers who come from out of state.