David Chiu Is Fighting To Protect Our Small Businesses

Commission Passes Resolution Supporting Small Business Facing Serial Lawsuits

San Francisco – July 24, 2008 – At a Special Meeting of the San Francisco Small Business Commission convened today, the Commission unanimously passed a resolution authored by Commissioner David Chiu to protect small businesses facing serial lawsuits alleging violations under the Americans for Disabilities Act. 

In recent years, several attorneys have filed these cookie-cutter lawsuits, including one attorney who has brought lawsuits against at least 30 San Francisco small businesses in 2008 after being previously sanctioned by a federal judge.

Passed 5-0 by the Commission, the resolution emphasizes that all businesses must comply with the ADA, but condemns the legal tactics of these litigants and warns the public about the situation.  The Commission urges the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to provide funding for experts to advise small businesses regarding their ADA obligations, to assist small businesses facing these lawsuits, and to enact legislation to ameliorate the situation.

David Chiu, Small Business Commissioner, said “the lifeblood of our neighborhoods are our small mom-and-pop stores and restaurants, and these vexatious litigants are draining the lifeblood of our small businesses.  Our city must do what it can to assist these businesses, while ensuring that accessibility is protected.”

The San Francisco Small Business Commission functions as the City’s central point of information and referral for entrepreneurs and small businesses located in the City and County of San Francisco. By championing “business-friendly” policies, marketing the contributions of the small business sector, and developing appropriate assistance programs, the Small Business Commission works to support and enhance an environment where small businesses can succeed and flourish.