SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An iconic billiards hall is out of business and the owner is calling it a case of extortion.
“When you own a business that’s established like the Jointed Cue, one that’s been there for almost 50 years, you think who’s gonna mess with me? Who’s gonna mess with this business? It’s a landmark,” said the owner Mike Murphy.
Customers were just as surprised to see the longtime business closed on Wednesday.
“I’ve been coming for many years, and now I see the sign on the door,” said Jerry Mingo.
And they’re locked up for good.
“It’s terrible,” said a woman that has been coming here for more than 40 years.
It’s not just any pool hall, most say.
“It’s like the mecca for pool on the West Coast,” Murphy said. “For me to be the person have to say hey you can’t come here anymore, that’s the most devastating part of the whole ordeal.”
Murphy says a lawsuit over disabled access is forcing him out.
“The cost associated with just fixing a bathroom, some counters, and a door, it’s more than the business itself,” he added.
He says this isn’t just a lawsuit, it’s an attack by a “serial filer.”
“Oh it’s Scott Johnson, you don’t even have to bring up his name he’s known. It’s kinda like I was a victim of his evil plan,” Murphy said.
Scott Johnson has filed more than 2,000 cases in federal court going back to 2004.
And in this 17-page complaint, he says this business has a number of ADA violations including a narrow door entrance, bar tops too high, and toilet stalls too small.
According to the lawsuit:
“These inaccessible conditions denied the plaintiff full and equal access and caused him difficulty, discomfort, and embarrassment.” –Filed on behalf of Scott Johnson.
Mike Murphy says this is a first.
“Here they’re playing pool in wheelchairs, I lost an eight ball game to a guy in a wheelchair once,” Murphy said.
A pool hall now scratched out of business by allegations of ADA non-compliance.
“He shut down the business, he’s hurt the community, and that’s what he should be known for, someone like that,” he said.
Lawmakers in Sacramento have made several attempts to pass new laws aimed at discouraging serial filers, but the measures have failed.
We tried reaching out to Johnson and his team of attorneys, but haven’t heard back.