WASHINGTON, D.C.—A Downey, CA, restaurant owner who was sued for a bathroom mirror set two inches too high is recounting his legal ordeal in a national campaign called Faces of Lawsuit Abuse, which exposes the negative effects of abusive lawsuits on small businesses and individuals. Restaurant owner Ron Piazza tells his story in a short video featured on www.FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).
“Abusive lawsuits are not victimless,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard. “Many people think big-dollar lawsuits are only filed against ‘deep-pocket’ corporations. Yet, in this current economic climate, many locally-owned businesses like Ron Piazza’s are just one lawsuit away from closing their doors.”
Piazza’s fast food restaurant was sued over alleged non-compliance with California disabilities laws when a vandalized bathroom mirror was replaced with one that was set two inches higher. Once Piazza became aware of the mistake, he lowered the mirror. In the meantime, three plaintiffs had visited the restaurant a total of 27 times over a three-month period and brought a suit alleging the mirror inflicted damages each time they visited.
“It would have been very easy for them to let us know that the mirror was a couple of inches too high, and we could have taken care of that right away,” Piazza said. “Had I not lowered the mirror, they probably would have continued to come and log more visits