by: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax Updated:
A Miami man is suing 24 Jacksonville businesses over noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It’s continuing coverage of an Action News Jax Investigation into a rash of ADA lawsuits targeting local businesses.
It’s a practice some call a money grab.
Douglas Longhini has sued 150 businesses across Florida.
“This is a form of activism, and it’s an important form of activism,” said Longhini’s attorney Joshua Sheskin.
Longhini lives in Miami and, because of his cerebral palsy, needs a wheelchair to get around.
Longhini has sued more than 100 businesses in Florida’s southern federal court district, which includes Miami.
He also recently sued 24 businesses in Jacksonville, 23 in Orlando, four in Fort Myers and one in Tampa.
One lawsuit Longhini and Sheskin filed last week claims that on June 7, Longhini visited a Papa John’s, Subway and Wing Stop, all in the same strip of a shopping complex in Jacksonville’s Brentwood neighborhood.
“I mean, that was me yesterday, that I visited three restaurants in one day – breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Sheskin.
Sheskin said his client should be able to visit any of these businesses without fear that he won’t be able to use the restroom or park where he needs to.
“If there were signs on restaurants that said, ‘No African Americans,’ people would go crazy in society. But that same restaurant discriminating by not being wheelchair-accessible, no one’s fighting to end that discrimination except the Doug Longhinis of the world,” said Sheskin.
Sheskin said his client does not make any money off of these lawsuits, but Sheskin gets reimbursed with attorney’s fees.
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