Many plaintiffs in ADA/accessibility lawsuits have repeatedly claimed to have suffered injuries at properties they visited, in some cases many injuries in a single day, often for the same conditions (such as improperly configured restroom facilities). One plaintiff claimed to be injured over 100 times in a single year. While most acknowledge that improperly configured structures can pose a greater risk of injuries to people with disabilities, critics have suggested that these repeated injury claims (often found in 100% of the lawsuits a plaintiff files during a given period) are really just an attempt to force the defendant's insurer to pay a settlement. What do you think?
" . . . while Molski’s complaints may have stated a legitimate claim for relief, it was not clearly erroneous for the district court to find that the claims of injury contained in those complaints were patently without merit. Because many of the violations Molski challenged were similar, it would have been reasonable for Molski’s complaints to contain similar allegations of barriers to entry, inadequate signage, and so on. However, it is very unlikely that Molski suffered the same injuries, often multiple times in one day, performing the same activities— transferring himself from his wheelchair to the toilet or negotiating accessibility obstacles. Common sense dictates that Molski would have figured out some way to avoid repetitive injury-causing activity; even a young child who touches a hot stove quickly learns to avoid pain by not repeating the conduct. The district court’s conclusion that Molski “plainly lied” in making his injury allegations was not clearly erroneous. . . . In light of the district court’s finding that Molski did not suffer the injuries he claimed, it was not clearly erroneous for the district court to conclude that the large number of complaints filed by Molski containing false or exaggerated allegations of injury were vexatious." [emphasis added]