San Francisco prosecutors on Friday released an interactive map of small businesses that have been the target of alleged fraudulent lawsuits arguing the businesses are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The map can be found here.
Release of the map comes after San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said they will civilly prosecute the law firm that filed the alleged fraudulent suits. Gascón also served as the San Francisco district attorney from 2011 to 2019.
Businesses allegedly targeted by the law firm Potter Handy LLP are located across San Francisco, concentrated in neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and the Mission, with higher-than-average immigrant populations.
More than 300 businesses are on the map and more may be added as the investigation unfolds.
The district attorneys allege that Potter Handy has filed thousands of fraudulent suits against small businesses claiming the businesses violated the ADA and a state civil rights law called the Unruh Act.
The district attorneys allege Potter Handy is seeking to coerce cash settlements from business owners as well as damages from the businesses. Boudin and Gascón are seeking to stop Potter Handy from filing more suits, civil penalties and to recover money the firm collected in the settlements and return it to the business owners.
Dennis Price, a partner at Potter Hardy, issued a statement recently expressing concern about the motivations of the district attorneys. Price said the district attorneys were both facing recall threats “and are filing these claims in order to generate support.”
Potter Handy did not immediately respond to a text or an email requesting a comment on the release of the map.
The investigation continues. Anyone with information about the alleged fraudulent suits can call (628) 652-4100 or email [email protected]