Our research department has crunched the numbers from the federal court docket and the verdict is that the ADA Title III plaintiff’s bar and their clients are still busy filing lawsuits. Here are the findings:
- In 2015, 4,789 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in federal court, as compared to 4,436 in 2014. That 8% increase is modest compared to the surge we saw, and reported in 2014. In 2014, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits increased 63% over the 2,722 lawsuits filed nationwide in 2013.
- California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Arizona had the most ADA Title III lawsuits — a total of 3,847 cases. This accounts for 80% of the lawsuits filed nationwide.
- Although California and Florida continue to be the most popular venues for ADA Title III lawsuits, the number of cases filed in those states in 2015 decreased by 11% and 14% respectively.
- Arizona experienced a surge in lawsuits. Plaintiffs in Arizona filed 25 times more cases in 2015 than they did in 2014, for a total of 207 lawsuits in 2015. Other states with substantial increases in the number of lawsuits were Georgia (from 20 to 96), Illinois (from 29 to 84), New York (212 to 366).
- Federal courts in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming had no ADA Title III lawsuits.
- Who are the plaintiffs filing these suits? Our docket review revealed the top filers in 2015 were:
- Howard Cohan (FL/IL/LA) – 429
- Martin Vogel (CA) – 198
- Theresa Brooke (AZ/CA) – 175
- Patricia/Pat Kennedy (FL) – 173
- Tal Hilson (FL) – 136
- Jon Deutsch (TX) – 113
- Michael Rocca (CA) – 102
- Shirley Lindsay (CA) – 83
We do wish to add a disclaimer: Our research involved a painstaking manual process of going through all federal cases that were coded as “ADA-Other” and culling out the ADA Title II cases in which the defendants are state and local governments. In other words, there is always the possibility of some human error and we hope you’ll forgive us if the numbers are slightly off. And, we only counted federal filings. Some plaintiffs — such as those in California, which has ADA Title III-corollary state statutes — may file lawsuits in state court that never make it to federal court, and thus, are not included in our numbers.