It’s a sorry world when scammers try to make money in the name of a good law

Construction signs 040119 IMG_2654

The cover story in this week’s Westword is not just a good read, it’s also a cautionary tale.

A man from Florida hired an attorney in Colorado to sue a restaurant in Bailey, claiming that he had encountered multiple violations under the ground-breaking Americans With Disabilities Act. But, was he actually there? Could they even find this man? Did he actually exist? And was the lawyer this “person” retained ethical?

It’s a mystery story, but it also calls into question how easily some people may scam others in the age of fake information.

The ADA, under the wing of the Department of Justice, was signed into law in 1990; it has been updated several times. It has been an aid for so many people, requiring upgrades to building signage (like text, including Braille, next to a restroom door), to specially marked parking spaces devoted to drivers with mobility issues, to moving elevator buttons to a lower level so people in wheelchairs can reach the controls. It also covers many other things. This law is something to respect, not use in a scam. But…

As Denver slowly moves forward with a program to upgrade/replace sidewalks in need of repairs, I sense that the ADA guidelines may have had a role in this program. The city also has been installing ramps at intersections, as part of its curb and gutter replacement program.

Now, if the “new rules” for construction projects would kick into play, it would be great if people did not have to walk or roll into the street, whether walking a dog, using a walker or wheelchair, or pushing a stroller.

Here’s the link to the Westword story, which has interesting twists and turns.

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