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Ava's faces lawsuit over ADA access

Original post made on Nov 10, 2017

A longtime linchpin of Castro Street, Ava's Downtown Market & Deli has weathered fierce competition, rising costs and parking troubles. Now the grocery store's latest threat has to do with the dimensions of its displays and chairs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 10, 2017, 12:00 AM

Comments (44)

22 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

Gary is a registered user.

Enforcing the ADA is a worthy cause but sometimes claimed violations are concocted. Post the names of the lawyers involved in these lawsuits. Innocent defendants should start sharing information.


4 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm

McAlister might explain why his store was non-compliant with the ADA to begin with. What was stopping him from bringing his store into compliance prior to being sued if businesses have had 27 years to comply with the ADA requirements. Same with Ava's. It's easy to complain when they are being sued, but why isn't the store ADA compliant?

The City of Mountain View is just as bad. Numerous requests for adequate handicap parking spaces or for policing of blocked disabled ramps and sidewalks go ignored. No wonder given McAlister's history.


69 people like this
Posted by Ron MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Ron MV is a registered user.

These guys are the lowest form of scum. Using laws intended to help the disabled to line their own pockets against companies that cannot defend themselves. If they honestly wanted to just push a fix, they could tell a business "you have 6 months to fix this or I might sue to force the issue". Hopefully the law will force them to do this.


62 people like this
Posted by Dennis
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm

I am also disabled, but have a real problem with lawyers or people who "Troll" for lawsuits to pad their pockets.

This is getting worse than the ads on television that promise "You deserve
compensation" per "problematic" medication or medical procedures.

In fact, it is the lawyers who are awarded a majority of the compensation.
They always collect their fees even if the plaintiff is awarded nothing.

They are simply modern ambulance chasers.


48 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

It’s a scam, just trying rip off struggling shops
Ava’s is a city treasure I hope the lawsuit mill is stopped.


12 people like this
Posted by Cathy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:22 pm

For more information about Tanya Moore lawsuits and common plaintiffs she represents: Web Link


31 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm

So sad that our local shops are under attack. This reminds me of similar news stories a few years back reporting that lawyers were approaching disabled people in San Francisco basically soliciting their participation in predatory ADA lawsuits. Those folks are just as much victims as the shop owners.

I hope Jackie Speier's bill goes through, but I'm not sure it will be enough to protect local businesses. I'd like to see judges throw out these lawsuits in cases where they clearly are frivolous, for example if the plaintiff had never frequented the shop prior to making the acquaintance of the lawyer.


28 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:30 pm

So sad that our local shops are under attack. I wish our judges could just throw out ADA lawsuits in cases where they are obviously frivolous.


8 people like this
Posted by Cathy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Web Link Two plaintiffs share how the Moore Law firm promised them money and to improve life for disabled people.

"Daniel Delgado told us Randy and Tanya Moore sent him to businesses he would not have otherwise visited with instructions to buy something and get a receipt. He signed off as a plaintiff on dozens of cases and says he was asked to recruit some of his disabled friends – including John Morales – to file lawsuits as well."


41 people like this
Posted by Rich
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:47 pm

It has always amazed me that the law that allows these suits does not allow for remediation instead of damages. After all, if the goal is improved access, rather than legal nightmares, that is clearly the better way. The rules are extremely complex and often non-intuitive, and it makes sense to deal with the most important issues first and not get lost in the micro-details like if a sign is one centimeter too low in a spot where a sign really doesn't make any sense anyway (like marking an exit when there is only one door). I hope the new law passes.


Like this comment
Posted by ADA compliance
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:47 pm

It seems like ADA compliance should be part of the building permit sign off for things like bathrooms etc

I am torn on this. I see cities that have poles in sidewalks that for people in wheelchairs into the street.

So i sympathize with the frustrations of the disabled community. Like they said it has been 20+ years. Get with it


53 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

"Tanya Moore uses copy-and-paste lawsuits shakedown businesses for her own personal financial gain. Did you know that her law firm is one of the largest filers of ADA cases in the entire state? Tanya Moore uses a variety of professional plaintiffs to bring these ADA lawsuits. Working with her husband Ronald Moore, the two attorneys openly admit to filing as many lawsuits as possible because they make money doing so." SOURCE Web Link

This is legal extortion, if a business needs upgrades to comply with ADA so be it, it should not be necessary to sue them. The state of California needs to do something about this. Ava's is a family own busines, a lawsuit like this could be financially devastation. I hope some lawyers out there will offer pro bono help to Ava's


22 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Why don't the downtown businesses pitch in and have an ADA inspector review all the retail businesses in the area? Then they can make the changes on their own instead of waiting for a predatory law firm make them do it for 10 times the price? This would even be a good idea for a startup company. Guarantee your work and back that up with a solid insurance policy.


38 people like this
Posted by Little guys against lawyers
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Time to stop the lawyers going after us little guys just because they can. We should get together, get the address of this Tanya Moore person and teach her a lesson - in a legal, thoughtful manner. Anyone in?

Maybe we can use Ava's as the start of a rally against "lawyers gone wild"? we need to restrict them seriously. They should help us solve relevant problems, not drain money from the hard-working class.

Go after the big guys, Google, Facebook and Apple and have them pay their fare share of tax here and help them subsidize housing - or build it - rather than driving us all out of here due to sky high living costs that only their employees can afford.


54 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 10, 2017 at 4:50 pm

It is so sad to see how certain lawyers use the legal system in such a way to extort money from small business owners. Many of them including myself try to comply to the law but end up with frivolous lawsuits. California is the most unfriendly state to do business. Just check how high workers compensation insurance is versus most of the rest of the country. That is also full of fraud and insurance companies too willing to pay out lawyers and settle and raise rates versus the high cost of finding true justice in our over crowded legal system. So sad.


67 people like this
Posted by Alan L.
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 10, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Another reason to be disgusted by the self interested, overcharging, cannabilistic creeps that think they are superior because they passed the bar. The practice of law in this country is an absurdity---and it won't change---our legislators are mostly lawyers.


10 people like this
Posted by RoxieK
a resident of Slater
on Nov 10, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Lawsuits like this are disingenuous at best, serve only the plaintiff and plaintiff's lawyers and do much harm to the very group they claim to support. Karma's a bitch.


19 people like this
Posted by Ken Martell
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 10, 2017 at 8:33 pm

It's simple extortion by shysters.

If Ava's wants to fight this I'll pledge $100.00 to help out.

What say you, Mountain View ???


42 people like this
Posted by a.l.
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 10, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Lawyers are self important creeps that consider themselves superior by virtue of passing the bar. A huge percentage of them are only in it for the money, and the zillion lawsuits agains small businesses---usually by the same lawyers each time--- just make it obvious. When defendants in this stupid system prevail (civil OR criminal) they should be entitled to immediate compensation. The law should be for the betterment of the citizenry, not for the income of lawyers---and it won't change, as most of our legislators ar lawyers. What a disgusting joke!


40 people like this
Posted by Looks Like another One
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I remember this one being all over the news a while back.

Web Link

It seems that the lawyers are the ones making the money here.


37 people like this
Posted by LAW
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm

What a scummy thing to do; using the ADA and people with disabilities as a prop for lawyers to get richer.

Of *course* businesses should have pressure to be ADA compliant, but this is clearly a shake-down and not well-intentioned.


14 people like this
Posted by Bill in Congress
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2017 at 10:34 pm

A hotly debated bill on this very issue is working it's way through Congress:
"Specifically, the bill requires anyone seeking to file a lawsuit under Title III to first provide written notice to the business owners in violation of the law, citing very specific details regarding the provisions of the statute that apply to their particular case. Business owners would then have 60 days to acknowledge the violation and another 120 days to at least make “substantial progress” towards rectifying it."
Article Link:
Web Link

H.R.620 - ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 Info:
Web Link


32 people like this
Posted by barbaram167
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 10, 2017 at 11:50 pm

barbaram167 is a registered user.

These ADA people go by every business door to door and check if their ADA compliment. Although I guess that is okay, they usually know that majority of business that were built awhile ago are not ADA spec'd. It's almost like a scam. This does not promote small business. We are just promoting big business with this kind of stuff. Mountain view will just be all big business and google in a couple of years. MV voice needs to pick a side. Promote the businesses that have been here for many years, or just go with the big corps and sell out.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2017 at 7:07 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

I am in support of the ADA like no one else.

I was originally training to be an occupational therapist.

But I even admit we have exploitation of the act by lawyers. And even worse, those that target the smallest businesses that have the least resources. ADA failures can be simply unavoidable or easily correctable once given due notice. These attorneys take advantage of the lack of due notice being a requirement prior to suit. This is a problem that needs correcting. And unavoidable can be a defense in court.


14 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

I like Ava's and its owner Juan Origel very much. He offers a great selection of products, especially local organic produce. To help offset his expenses from this suit, I will do more of my shopping at Ava's from now on.

I'm not unsympathetic to the plaintiff, and I am very much in favor of the proposed legislation to give businesses 120 days to correct violations.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2017 at 8:17 am

I'll break with others' sentiment and say that I'm not sympathetic to the plaintiff in the least. I can't be sympathetic with a shakedown, even if it's legal. A civilized approach to an accessibility issue is to first mention it without lawyers involved, and see if that leads anywhere. It's common courtesy. A business finding out about some super-technical ADA violation via lawsuit is akin to pointing a gun at somebody and telling them to give you money because you don't like how they do their business. Bah!

The goals of bills like the ADA are noble, however, over time, the rule book grows, since careers are never made simplifying regulation. Someone always has to do "something". At the other end of the regulations are the businesses which close. I guess it's better not to have something rather than have it be a bit more difficult for some people to access.

For example, UC Berkeley put all their recorded lectures online, for free, for anyone to watch. Awesome, huh? The ADA forced them to take the videos down because they couldn't afford to closed caption all of them for the deaf, and provide written descriptions of slides for the blind. So, because some people can't access them, now nobody can.

I also used to live near Boston and witnessed ADA shakedowns shutting down businesses in historic buildings. The businesses were indeed not compliant. Compliance was impossible because historical building regulation didn't allow changes, so the only option was to pay the fines and shut down.

Politicians and bureaucrats are the lowest form of humanity, and enabled by amoral lawyers.


10 people like this
Posted by Riddler
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

We should all thank Jackie for her efforts to stop this kind of senseless extortion. It is important to protect our small business owners.


10 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

It looks like the sleazy law firm is being sued under the RICO act. Nice!
Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

It looks like this sleazy law firm is being sued under the RICO Act. Nice!
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Gaylon Lovelace
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

The bill mentioned is H.R.620 - ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
Web Link
If you think HR620 would help to make ADA enforcement more fair, then ask our Congresswoman Anna Eshoo to join in sponsoring the bill. It takes all of 90 seconds to fill in Eshoo's web-form: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 11, 2017 at 10:33 pm

I wonder if we should start a kickstarter campaign to help Ava's pay legal costs (depending of course on whether they are insured for this). These ADA lawsuits are out of control and this can't be good for our only downtown grocer.


Like this comment
Posted by Perry
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2017 at 6:28 am

Every time a business owner gets sued for ADA, IT'S ALWAYS presented as a shake down.
These businesses have had decades to comply with federal and state ADA codes.
Frankly this is what it takes to force compliance, and stop lazy business owners.
As an inspector, we are put into wheel chairs for a day, during training, and it's amazing how hard it is for the disabled too get around.
Stop complaining, and follow the law.


80 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

Follow the law? I present to you 275 pages of densely packed building codes in the ADA:

Web Link

You're a small business, just getting by - how are you going to find the time and money to comply with thousands of individual little rules?

Everyone is non-compliant with the ADA, there are just too many rules in there for anyone to actually know. Building wheelchair access is one thing, but the ADA goes way, way beyond that. Have a look at that document.

Inspectors are petty tyrants in a position to lord over other people. I guess it must be a fun job to bring fear into the eyes of well meaning people. "Force compliance" is such a nice phrase. Your power is backed by that of the state, by violence. If someone doesn't comply, gun wielding cops will come and make them comply. Shame on you.


132 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 12, 2017 at 2:13 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

Tanya Moore is a bottom feeder, I hate to see this happen to Ava's. If Tanya Moore was a decent person they would notify a business of violations and give a grace period to fix the problem. She and her 'associates' have been at this game for a long time. They have hijacked the ADA for their own finanicial gain, it is truly disgusting. Clearly businesses need to adhere to ADA requirements, but small businesses need assistance with compliance, not lawsuits that will put them out of business. You won't see Tanya Moore going after corporate giants with in-house counsel. They only go after the small business, trying to make a living; these are despicable individuals. This story from Fresno is a perfect example of how they operate, and finally someone is filing a RICO lawsuite against Moore... The RICO lawsuit alleges Tanya Moore and her ex-husband, who quit practicing law in March 2015, and the firm’s chief paralegal, Marejka Sacks, are the ringleaders of the enterprise.

The lawsuit alleges that Tanya Moore has knowingly filed numerous court documents with false pleadings and declarations on behalf of Ronald Moore and other disabled plaintiffs. Sacks is accused of doing the bulk of the legal work, even though she is not an attorney.

The alleged fraudulent scheme began around 2009 when Tanya Moore and Kenneth Moore, who goes by Randy, held meetings in Fresno to recruit disabled plaintiffs. Attendees were told that they would be given a finder’s fee every time they became a plaintiff in an ADA complaint.
Web Link


26 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

Tanya Moore is a bottom feeder, I hate to see this happen to Ava's. Moore and her associates have hijacked the ADA for their own finanicial gain, it is truly disgusting. Clearly businesses need to adhere to ADA requirements, but small businesses need assistance with compliance, not lawsuits that will put them out of business. A RICO lawsuit has been filed agains Moore and her law firm. The alleged fraudulent scheme began around 2009 when Tanya Moore and Kenneth Moore, who goes by Randy, held meetings in Fresno to recruit disabled plaintiffs. Attendees were told that they would be given a finder’s fee every time they became a plaintiff in an ADA complaint. Despicable individuals.
Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Patricia Murphy Hardy
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2017 at 8:24 am

Juan is beyond accommodating! He literally gave me half of his sandwich when the deli was closed...Eat elsewhere, Ronnie, if Ava's doesn't work for you...


4 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

The tax code is complex. Is that an excuse to not pay taxes. Food sanitation and safety is complex. Is that an excuse to not run a restaurant or grocery store to health standards? ADA compliance is really not that complex. On whole different portions apply to different environments. Only certain portions apply to retail. I would say not having ADA compliant aisles or a few tables without wheelchair clearance hints of an owner who never cracked open the regulations.

And BTW, aren't technically 50% of lawyers bottom feeders? One side almost always knows they have a weak argument. And many times, the lawyers and their clients who can outspend their opponent are often the winners.


60 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

Tanya Moore is a bottom feeder, she is being sued herself, it's about time. Web Link

She should lose her law license for exploiting the disabled and the ADA for her own financial gain. Web Link


31 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

@Perry
Tanya Moore does not go after big business with money and legal teams, she only goes after the little guy with intimidation and threats of a lawsuit in hopes of a settlement before she moves on to her next victim Read the details of this latest lawsuit against her...
"Sandiefar’s lawsuit identifies several defendants, including Ronald Moore, 58, of Clovis, who has been a plaintiff in hundreds of ADA lawsuits, and his former sister-in-law, Tanya Moore, an attorney who operated the Moore Law Firm in San Jose. Tanya Moore has filed more than 1,000 ADA lawsuits against small businesses in Fresno and the Valley, court records say.

The RICO lawsuit alleges Tanya Moore and her ex-husband, who quit practicing law in March 2015, and the firm’s chief paralegal, Marejka Sacks, are the ringleaders of the enterprise. The lawsuit alleges that Tanya Moore has knowingly filed numerous court documents with false pleadings and declarations on behalf of Ronald Moore and other disabled plaintiffs. Sacks is accused of doing the bulk of the legal work, even though she is not an attorney.

Tany Moore is a bottom feeder. she should be disbarred Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by rita nutile
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 14, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I have seen too many places closed because of lawsuits. Do they ever ask the owners first to fix?


Like this comment
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

ADA requirements are quite complex and specific, I would think the City's permit process would include ADA compliance (does it?), it should not be left up to the business owner. The City has a great deal of expertise on this topic. Small Business owners do their best but clearly compliance takes more than a Blue parking sign and a big bathroom on the ground level.

"The ADA relies on the traditional method of civil rights enforcement through litigation in federal courts. Local officials do not have the authority to enforce the ADA on behalf of the federal government." Ridiculous. That needs to change. SB269 addresses provides some relief...

SB 269 allows for a longer and more realistic opportunity to correct disability access violations and for certain larger businesses to avoid statutory damages. Now, qualified businesses will not be subject to statutory damages, if they demonstrate all of the following:

1. The business, as of the date of inspection, has employed 50 or fewer employees on average over the past three years, or for the years it has been in existence if less than three years, as evidenced by the wage reports filed with the Employment Development Department;
2. The structure or area of the alleged violation was the subject of a CASp inspection (“CASp determination pending” or “Inspected by CASp”);
3. The inspection predates the filing of the claim, or receipt of a demand letter from, the plaintiff regarding the alleged violation and the business was not on notice of the alleged violation prior to the CASp inspection;
4. The business has corrected all construction-related violations, as noted in the CASp report, within 120 days of the date of the inspection.


6 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm

When the government fails and refuses to enforce laws and regulations, it is left to civil lawyers to force compliance. 27 years is a longtime to become ADA compliant. Any fees for the violations would go to a public benefit if the government did its job. They did not, so the lawyers did. I do not blame them.


Like this comment
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

@Robyn, Ava's has been opened for a few years, your comment implies they have been around for decades, all the while disregarding the ADA, which is wrong. I agree that a business owner who disregards ADA requirements should be punished, but Tanya Moore is out for money under the guise of being a champion of the rights of the disabled. As mentioned previously she is a bottom feeder. Hopefully SB269 will play into this situation with Ava's. Tanya Moore never goes after businesses with legal teams and deep pockets because she knows she will lose.


Like this comment
Posted by Sophie
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Because the lawyers pass the bar and they know more about the loopholes and tricks than others, they take advantage to chase little people for their own financial gain. Not only those in a law firm, but also those work in Corporates, bullying employees to end degree, just because they know all the tricks and leave no traces.


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