• 15 join countersuit against Jacksonville woman suing 40 small businesses

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax


    Fifteen Jacksonville small businesses are now joining the fight against a local woman and attorney who've filed dozens of lawsuits accusing them of breaking the law.

    An Action News Jax Investigation in July revealed disabled Jacksonville woman Wanda Moore, who is a double amputee, and her attorney Robert Gibson have filed 40 lawsuits against restaurants, gas stations and food stores, accusing them of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Many of the businesses say it’s just a money grab, and Moore and Gibson don’t really care about fixing the problems.

    Now, Gibson and his client Wanda Moore are being sued.

    After Gibson failed to return Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne’s calls, she walked up to him while he was getting into a Range Rover outside his office. Gibson asked for Bourne’s business card. When she went to go get one, Gibson got into another SUV and sped off.

    “We believe that the number of businesses that have been affected are in the hundreds,” said attorney Justin Drach, who is representing the small businesses that were targeted.

    The countersuit filed by Lubi's Hot Subs accuses Gibson of falsely claiming Moore had been on Lubi's premises, when in fact she had not.

    It says once a target was identified, someone would go in and take photographs of ADA violations, and claim Moore had been a patron.

    Attorney Justin Drach said a whistleblower who used to work for Gibson showed him a list of 250 local businesses they targeted.

    Latin Creations is one of the businesses now joining Lubi’s Hot Subs’ lawsuit.

    Beatrice Chandler, who manages the front of the house at Latin Creations, said she’s never seen Wanda Moore.

    “It said that they bought fried tomatoes here and we don’t sell fried tomatoes. So that was another – ding, ding, ding -- that doesn’t sound right,” Chandler said.

    An internal email at Gibson’s Law Office shows photos of alleged ADA violations at Latin Creations were taken April 27, more than two weeks before the lawsuit claims Wanda Moore visited.

    “As we were looking at the pictures, we were like, 'Wait a minute, that toilet was changed before May 16,'” Chandler said.

    Her Home Depot receipt for a new toilet says May 1.

    “It hurts. It really hurts that they’re trying to take the little bit of income that we make for ourselves. I mean, I have a kid. And if we have to close the business because of this, you know, what am I going to do?” Chandler said.

    Action News Jax called Wanda Moore and went to her home today, but no one came to the door.

    Businesses Moore and Gibson are currently suing:

    Bono's Pit Bar B Q
    Captain D's
    Sunrise Caribbean Gourmet, Inc.
    Harry's Food Mart
    Exxon Food Mart
    Another Broken Egg Café
    Amy's Turn
    Sheik The Restaurant
    Beach Road Chicken Dinners
    Hook Fish & Chicken (Atlantic Blvd)
    Sam Won Garden Restaurant
    Hook Fish And Chicken (Ramona Blvd)
    Famous Sandwiches
    Ramona Food Store
    Mr. Dragon Chinese Restaurant
    New China Restaurant
    Pit Stop 2
    Mama Lu's Filipino & Chinese Restaurant
    Tony's Super Dollar Store
    Lucky Food Mart
    Quick and Handy 121
    Latin Creations
    Northside Food Store
    Russ-Doe’s Sandwich Shop
    Gibbs NY Style Subs
    Joelle Food Store
    Country Cabin Orange Park
    Moncrief Express
    Wally's Gyros & Subs
    H & H Discount Beverage, Inc.
    Nicole's On The River
    Ho Ho Chinese Restaurant
    Sandwich House
    Talleyrand Food Mart
    Raceway #931
    Beignet’s Caribbean Café
    Parental Food Mart
    Snappy Food Store
    First Coast Deli & Grill

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