MANTECA (CBS13) — A Manteca business owner is locking his doors in fear of an attorney known for filing thousands of lawsuits on behalf of disabled people.
What started as a small shop in the back of his parents’ restaurant when John Perez was just 24 is now a 50-year-old business he shares with his sons.
“It means everything to me,” he said. “It’s what I worked for all my life.”
But for the first time, Perez and Son’s Cabinet Shop is operating with the doors locked with a sign out front saying he’s working by appointment only. He says he’s doing it in fear that Scott Johnson will pay him a visit. Not for business he says, but to rob him of his money.
Johnson is known for filing thousands of lawsuits against business owners whose buildings don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“He goes around lining his pockets with money,” Johnson said.
He’s hit nearly two-dozen Manteca businesses with lawsuits recently, including a florist next to John who is now collecting signatures for a petition against frivolous lawsuits.
“He seems to go around to smaller businesses where they haven’t got the means to really get a lawyer and fight it,” Perez said.
Johnson’s lawsuits have forced the closure of businesses, including Land Park’s Ford’s Hamburgers in 2012.
Now Perez is taking action, holding a workshop for other business owners to educate them about the ADA and stop Johnson in his tracks.
“He has no morals, puts people out of business,” Perez said. “I don’t think he’s going to quit.”
He plans to have an architect look at his building to see if he needs to make any changes, until then his appointment-only sign will stay up.
CBS13 tried to contact Johnson, but he again hasn’t responded.
The workshop will be on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Emory at 1028 W. Yosemite Ave.