Yuba City Strikes a Deal with Litigious Man Who Targets Local Governments
A California man placed on the state’s list of "vexatious litigants” has been a real headache for local governments. George Louie from the city of West Sacramento has literally sued hundreds of cities and companies with frivolous lawsuits in order to force settlements that work in his favor monetarily. One critic went so far as to call Louie’s actions “extortion lawsuits” since they are expensive for cash-strapped cities to fight in court. His litigation centers on compliance with the federal Americans with Disability Act.
While Louie can no longer file lawsuits in California courts, he can still pursue such activity in federal courts. Louie’s legal activity is notable because Yuba City has been described as the first local government to strike a rather novel deal with the litigious man: For $15,000 Louie has agreed to never –and we mean never – file lawsuits against the city or its businesses. Perhaps proof it’s all about the Benjamins for Louie.
Notably, the Bee reports that “The propensity of some to use the ADA in court was the target of bipartisan legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month. SB 1186, prohibits attorneys from writing so-called "demand letters" that ask for money in exchange for not filing suit. The bill also reduces the monetary damages that can be awarded for each violation.” See more here.