Lawyers are using New York City's age and architectural weirdness to cite violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Interestingly, these lawyers usually do not have plaintiffs, rather they identify businesses that are not in compliance and then recruit or reuse plaintiffs. Each plaintiff can usually anticipate collecting approximately $500. Furthermore, each plaintiff can be used multiple times, resulting in the same names appearing on multiple lawsuits. And, of course, the lawyers make thousands as the noncompliant businesses have to pay their legal fees.
Examples of lawsuits include no ramp and shelves that are too high at a flower shop on the Upper East Side and a bathroom doorknob that can't be opened with a closed fist at a yogurt shop in the theatre district. Ben-Zion Weitz, a Florida lawyer, filed both of these and he is currently leading the reins in New York City disability violation cases. He has a group of plaintiffs with disabilities that he regularly selects. One of these men sued 19 businesses over the course of 16 months. As a result, shops would immediately fix the problems and have to pay thousands in legal fees to Weitz.