Most Ridiculous Lawsuit: Small business owner gains legal savvy to fight access lawsuit

Other businesses sued, some get lucky

Eric Nordby decided to fight back when he was served with an American With Disabilities Act lawsuit he believes is frivolous.

The Auburn business owner of World Pub, Hilda’s Bakery & Elite Coffees and Little Belgium Deli said…

rather than settling the lawsuit filed by Carmichael-based attorney Scott Johnson for thousands of dollars or cleaning out his pockets to pay for legal counsele has a better solution. The entrepreneur and father of two is going to represent himself to stand up against what he believes is one of many frivolous lawsuits filed by Johnson across the region.

No court has ever found Johnson guilty of being a vexatious litigant, but by early this year he had filed 140 of the 200 lawsuits against businesses for disabilities act requirements in the Eastern District of California in the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit.

With a little help from a friend who is a lawyer, some business law classes behind him and extra time studying law, Nordby said he believes he has enough of a case to beat Johnson.

He said with research along the way, it hasn’t been as difficult filing paperwork properly and responding in the matter as people might expect. He said that is partly because Johnson has so many cases in progress at any one time.

“It’s a lot easier than you think it would be really to play ball with him,” Nordby said. “I am going to keep pushing and appealing.”

Nordby said despite Johnson’s repeated claims that he always sends a letter notifying business owners or operators that they have access violations prior to filing a lawsuit against them; he never sent one to Nordby. In the lawsuit facing Nordby, Johnson even names the former business located at the site, A-Town Deli, as the defendant.

After leasing the deli from the building’s owners, Nordby said he made several improvements to it to make it accessible for people with disabilities ...

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