CBS Affiliate Misrepresents Americans With Disabilities Act

Lawyer Behind Disabilities Act Lawsuits Declares Bankruptcy

WCCO CBS Minneapolis conveys the false impression bankrupt lawyer was running an ADA disability lawsuit scam

By Stephen Pate – The CBS Minnesota story headline says Lawyer Behind Disabilities Act Lawsuits Declares Bankruptcy.

The headline makes a direct connection between the Americans with Disabilities Act, a lawyer who filed ADA lawsuits and bankruptcy.  There is no connection between the ADA lawsuits and the attorney’s bankruptcy, other than a misleading headline.

The real story is the lawyer went bankrupt after filing a series of copyright troll lawsuits and his victims counter-sued.

“His former firm was part of a copyright trolling scheme that sued thousands of people for downloading online porn, and then settled for nominal amounts. Court documents show he made millions,” reports the story past the inflammatory headline.

The story has nothing to do with ADA lawsuits which are intended to remove barriers for Americans with disabilities. The fact that the lawyer also filed ADA lawsuits is not related to his bankruptcy.

Lawsuits to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act are authorized by the Act and Congress as one means of citizen access to justice for people with disabilities. They are not a scam.

“The courts determined that was an abuse of the legal process,” attorney Ted Sheu, who sued the lawyer who  then filed for bankruptcy to avoid the debt on the copyright trolling cases.

The bankruptcy has nothing to do with ADA lawsuits. However, there is a segment of society including businesses who don’t want to comply with the ADA or are prejudiced against people with disabilities. The media cater to that segment with negative stories about people with disabilities and the ADA, despite the fact the ADA has been law for 25 years.

The disabled are regularly portrayed in the media as shirkers, social welfare cheats. Government programs are reported as luxuries not necessities and the programs are bankrupting America. Lawyers who file ADA lawsuits are cast as gouging business, the equivalent of ambulance chasers/

Fairness and Accuracy in Media reported another CBS disability story was false and misleading. What Did 60 Minutes Get Wrong About Disability?.

“Part of stereotyping is the attitude that all members of a particular group are the same, or else fall into a very small number of types. This is particularly true in the few cases where persons with a disability appear in media. Common Portrayals of Persons with Disabilities

“Media images and stories influence thinking and establish social norms. People with disabilities have endured misrepresentation, defamation, and lack of representation in the media news and entertainment.” Media and Disability

We wrote reporter who wrote the story. She did not reply.

The Americans With Disabilities Act protects the 50 million Americans who live with disabilities. It is trying to provide them access to every day life and liberty.  ADA claims involving employment are often filed by the EEOC. For more information on the ADA and the U.S. Equal Employment

Opportunity Commission who help to enforce the act see the EEOC website.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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