Paralyzed Calif. man loses high court appeal

Court Watch Posted on

A paralyzed man who has sued hundreds of businesses over accommodations for the disabled lost his Supreme Court appeal Monday to get out from under a court order requiring special permission to file new lawsuits.

Jarek Molski has been labeled a "vexatious litigant" by federal courts in California because he has filed roughly 400 lawsuits alleging that restaurants and other businesses are in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Molski is paralyzed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair.

The justices rejected his case without comment.

Molski frequently complains about the lack of handicapped van parking, counters that are too high, narrow doorways and grab-bars installed too high or low in bathrooms. In addition, he often says he was injured in the course of his visit. Targeted business owners often have settled out of court rather than pay attorneys and take the time to fight the lawsuits.

A federal judge in Los Angeles described the lawsuits as extortion. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling that Molski was an abusive litigant, although it noted that many of the establishments he sued probably were violating federal law.

"On the other hand, the district court had ample basis to conclude that Molski trumped up his claims of injury," the appeals court said.

The case is Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 08-38.

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