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Nevada Attorney General fights 'malicious' ADA lawsuits

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 21:45:35-04

More than a hundred businesses in Las Vegas are being sued for supposed discrimination against the disabled. 

Contact 13 uncovers why the Nevada Attorney General is trying to put a stop to that.

When Contact 13 learned about those businesses, we started tracking cases filed here in Nevada by a man named Kevin Zimmerman.  He alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act design standards, like the exact width of store aisles, location of restroom paper towel dispensers and the height of disabled parking signs. 

Attorney General Adam Laxalt says the lawsuits are all about money.

The Attorney General says 275 cookie-cutter cases have been filed by the same guy in just the past few months. They target businesses we all visit every day, from gas stations to fast-food restaurants, like Checkers. From 7-Elevens to Starbucks, the list goes on.  

And the Attorney General's office says these nuisance lawsuits carry a trickle-down cost that hits consumers right in the wallet.

So the AG filed a motion to intervene to protect "the public interest from malicious or premature lawsuits that threaten Nevada business owners."  

NV AG Intervene by Kean Bauman on Scribd

The AG says some businesses have already settled cases just to avoid the legal cost of fighting them -- paying out between $3,900 and $7,500. 

Contact 13 tried to track down the man who allegedly encountered violations valley-wide at the address on his voter registration.  

But we're told there's no one there by that name.  

The Attorney General also says, by federal law, complaints about violations of ADA design standards must first be filed with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission before filing suit in any court. 

Contact 13 also reached out to Zimmerman's attorney, Whitney Wilcher, but he hasn't returned our calls or email.