From the Los Angeles Times comes an interesting profile of 35-year-old Jarek Molski—Polish born, mostly American raised, paraplegic since 18 from a car accident … and a one-man enforcer of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Since early 2003, Molski has filed more than 350 lawsuits against restaurants, wineries, bowling alleys, banks and assorted retail establishments that he alleges have failed to remove barriers to disabled access as required by federal law. […]
Business owners, their lawyers and government officials claim that Molski is running an extraordinary scam, using strong-arm legal tactics to pressure businesses into paying him off. According to attorneys for businesses sued by Molski, he has pocketed an average of $4,000 a case from settlements, often from insurance companies looking for the cheapest resolution. At least 55% of Molski's cases have been settled, and extrapolating from those numbers, Molski would have had a total income since 2003 of $770,000—not bad for someone without a job.
Molksi has sued more Central Coast wine-sellers than were in the movie Sideways (including two branches of the film's prominently featured Hitching Post restaurants). And besides lining his pockets, and inspiring his admirers and helpers to compare him with Rosa Parks, his activism, the article reports, has sparked a backlash—a Los Angeles judge has ruled him to be "vexatious," disabled people are getting treated shabbily in places like Morro Bay (where he has apparently sued one-third of all non-fast food restaurants), and now California is thinking about rolling back some of the extra bells and whistles it tacked onto the ADA.