ADA Shakedown Nazis Strike Again:

As with most ideas that take a small group of people and make wealthy “victims” (and I oh-so-use-that-word loosely) out of them, the ADA now corrupts those “victims” and creates a new caste of ADA Nazis.
These ADA Nazis have descended upon one of the best, oldest and quaintest burger joints in Sacramento, Fornicalia.
The Squeeze Inn, at 7918 Fruitridge Road — not a particularly wonderful part of town — still manages to literally “pack ’em in” day after day.

The small, orange building (see above), a Sacramento landmark since the early 70s, with the building itself origination from the 1930s, proffers some of the biggest, finest, heart-clotting burgers on the face of the planet. It’s small, cramped, and you’re lucky if you can even sit at the 11-stool counter. Fabulous burger.

People willingly stand in line in order to acquire an order or — ideally — an actual seat at the counter. Good luck with that “counter” wish.

I am completely “abled.” And frequently I can’t get a spot at the counter.

So here comes the “victim” — some poor person in a wheelchair who can’t get a place “at the counter.”

And here comes the suit:

A lawsuit against the Squeeze Inn, the wildly popular Sacramento burger joint, is the latest filed by a disabled woman who in recent months has sued three other area small businesses for allegedly failing to comply with the federal law requiring access for people with disabilities.

The lawsuit against the Squeeze Inn is the fourth since January that Kimberly Block and her lawyers have filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento under the Americans with Disabilities Act. One of her lawsuits targets another iconic Sacramento eatery, Lil Joe’s on Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento.

Because it’s easy money and small businesses call ill afford to fight back, most kick in a few thousand dollars just to make the threat disappear. You’ll note, in the article, the settlements are always secret — part of the action, of course. Not bad for, say, a few hours’ work on the part of a lowlife attorney and a lowlife client, whose sole job is to work in partnership and target small business owners who haven’t completely complied, by the precise letter, of the ADA law. Hey, it’s easy money, ripe fruit low-hanging.

In this case, the owner of the Squeeze Inn has to close the business entirely and find another spot to locate. Thereby totally eliminating a large percentile of its charm.

I find it amazing that anyone wants to start a business, large or small, in Fornicalia.


18 thoughts on “ADA Shakedown Nazis Strike Again:

  1. Larger businesses can afford an infrastructure cost and pass it on as a minor increment to their products. Smaller businesses and small businesses, however, face having critical and high infrastructure refit cost that cannot easily be passed on to a customer base that is not large. ADA is a scale dependent situation in favor of large businesses as, indeed, are most regulatory schemes dreamed up by government.

    Retrofitting older establishments, no matter the size, is a huge hassle. A group wanted to put a new network system into the Capitol building in DC and had to deal with multiple problems, beyond just security: it is a historic building and any renovations must go through multiple reviews to ensure the structure and integrity of the building is maintained. Any building put in before modern telecomm has a similar problem when looking to get high bandwidth access in, but in comes in spades with historical structures. Another of my agency’s sites sat on top of an old civil war site, so anything on the grounds that needed to be repaired/replaced/updated went through at least a six month wait (at best) as it was a historic landmark site beyond being a DoD working site. Government can absorb costs via taxation, but the time necessary to get such structures checked and evaluated (even when not historical) is very high. We wanted to run a high bandwidth comm line under a parking lot and was told it was a two year wait due to backlog of the government committees involved (Federal, State, local)… so we found an old conduit from the 1940’s that would accept the cable size once we properly re-sealed it.

    I can imagine just how that plays out in business where a large firm can afford those costs and a smaller one cannot easily do so and remain competative. ‘Equal access’ has unequal cost due to firm size, so there is an uneven distribution of cost for something mandated to be ‘equal’. That is pretty basic economics, but it escapes lawmakers… and putting in a small business proviso then adds a major hurdle if a business wants to expand out of that category as all those waived costs then come due on top of expansion of the firm.

    Works that way in health care as my health plan has been gobbled up, twice, in three years due to the expanding incremental costs levied on it by government mandate, and service has been reduced. Critical needs medication needs a waiver, even though I have a board certified and DEA approved physician doing the prescribing… yes, incremental costs do hit you in services, fees, timeliness of delivery… all up and down the line. Plus you pay more for it.

  2. AJ: completely concur — and the difference also being that larger businesses can FIGHT the suits if prudent, can tie up the plaintiff or cause the plaintiff to lose.

    People like this, as you can see, actively SEEK to be victims in as many smaller businesses as possible and acquire their cash by volume. I’m sorry, but in my opinion those factory attorneys and factory ADA “victims” are simply scum.


  3. Set her on the curb and force feed her a bag of burgers…

    Or, maybe cut a notch in the front porch and get someone to donate a worn out surfboard for a handicap ramp…

    Just sayin’…

  4. When all Americans had integrity and decency, this woman would have been thrilled to get a burger from there, realizing that’s just something she can’t do. It’s HER handicap, not THEIRS, God love her ..and help her, of course.

    This story disgusts me…..SHE NEEDS TO BE SUED.

    BZ, they have to CLOSE for SURE?
    (By the way, that’s a lot of cheese, even for ME! WHOA!..but it looks fanTASTic!)
    We have THE APPLE PAN by us, famous for its hickory burger…man, is that GOOD…only room for about 20 at the counter and people wait a LONG TIME. We’ve figured out when to get there before the crowds show up!
    If the handicap police show up there, I’ll go to BATTLE!

  5. While some complaints of this nature are valid, others are nonsense. When I was in college they opened a new building but were forbidden to use a designated storage area. Why? Only access was a ladder. People in wheelchairs couldn’t get things out of it.

  6. That’s one thing about ADA here in AZ – unless the building is upgraded or remodeled, the ADA provisions don’t kick in for older or “landmark” buildings.

    Unless, of course, you are building a separate building for family and friend, private functions only – then the city will come in and insist that the private residence must be ADA compliant…

  7. Now this type of shit always pisses me off BZ. The ADA is a Federal piece of law that is supposed to aid persons with disabilities. I have used section 504 to get accomodations at school, like longer time for tests.

    It is utterly egregious the sense of entitlement that people have today. I have no problem asking for ADA accomodations in a publicly funded institution because my tax dollars PAY for it. But private businesses should have the right to serve or refuse to serve anyone they wish. They can CHOOSE to place wheelchair accessible steps in their business buildings or NOT. But the fact that this asshole of a woman who is using her disability for BULLYING shouldn’t get a damned thing from anybody! She can always order take out or go to another restaurant that is accessible to her.

    I consider her actions plumb EXTORTION and the state and federal government is complicit in this rape. Let’s face it; pretty soon California will be an eco tourist hub because they are squeezing normal people out of the state. A person cannot even start a business now for fear of offending some asshole that can sue them!

  8. In this case, the owner of the Squeeze Inn has to close the business entirely and find another spot to locate. Thereby totally eliminating a large percentile of its charm.

    How outrageous!

    The ADA goes way overboard much of the time, IMO.

  9. Man, what a leech. She & her so-called lawyers make a mockery of those with genuine needs. They oughtta be ashamed, but of course they have none, or they’d not do what they do.

  10. As Z said, this is her handicap, and God bless her. He would not look kindly on these antics. We all have things we cannot do. Shame on her. I bet she is miserable from more than her handicap.

  11. I can’t state my opinion any better than the previous comments, written as usual by the best bunch of readers on the web. I have a blind niece and a huge heart but these cases sicken me . . . and having done enormous amounts of ADA remediation for the University of Alaska, I can tell you it is an endless cost to organizations large and small. Your site continues to be stellar by the way and I still owe you a beer in Dutch . . .

  12. BZ,
    Thanks for the heads-up on the eating place. My wife’s relatives live in the Sacramento area, Elk Grove, etc., and we are visiting there next week. I’ll try to interest my brothers-in-law in some good artery glogging food.

  13. what if you were the disabled vet who wanted to experience the same burger, in the same way as everyone else? I seems that no one here knows anything about the federal laws these business continue to thumb their noses at. The government will pay, up front for the alterations necessary for small businesses to become compliant. As an advocacy group FOR ADA complaint small businesses, we try to show everyone where they are in violation, get them the govt money up front, oversee the alterations and market them to a new demographic. No, one, I mean no one acts without being sued! Weve contacted over 2000 businesses nicely about letting us help them become compliant. Not one has chosen to be legal. Again I say, ask any ADA consultant out there, NO one complies without being sued.

  14. Most Unworthy One – has it occurred to you yet that the money the government hands out is not “the government’s” money? It’s not the government’s, it doesn’t belong to the government – what you are advocating is giving TAXPAYER money to a business to comply with a law that is not a mandate for businesses and buildings that were grandfathered in – excluded due to the fact they were in existence before the law was.

    Has it occurred to you that maybe these small businesses don’t want that money because they know know that sooner or later, the government is going to come in and collect that money from them in the form of even higher taxes?

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