Full-Court Press: Disabled Jamaica Plain Man Makes Boston-Area Businesses Feel Heat
By Evan Lips | December 28, 2016, 20:40 EST
BOSTON — A Jamaica Plain man is suing more than a dozen Hub businesses in federal court, alleging various violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Legal filings show that Raoul Marradi, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is no stranger to the court system. Marradi, according to the copies of 15 lawsuits he filed this week, “acts as a tester on behalf of other persons with disabilities, for the purpose of discovering, encountering, and engaging discrimination against the disabled in public accommodations.”
A large swath of Marradi’s 15 separate lawsuits target restaurant and real estate companies located in Boston’s North End. Marradi is suing at least 10 Hanover Street restaurants, and several others located in and around Copley Square, in addition to a Jamaica Plain developer:
— Evan Lips (@evanmlips) December 28, 2016
Marradi, who is confined to a wheelchair, explains in his lawsuits that his “tester” role involves “a routine practice” in which he “personally visits the public accommodation where (he) knows or where it has been reported that illegal barriers to access exist; engages barriers to access that (he) is able to access or has barriers reported, documented and/or photographed; and tests barriers to access to determine whether and the extent to which there are illegal barriers to access; proceeds with legal action to enjoin such discrimination; and subsequently returns to the premises to verify its compliance or non-compliance with the ADA and to otherwise use the public accommodation as members of the able-bodied community are able to do.”
“Independent of other subsequent visits for personal reasons, Plaintiff also intends to revisit the premises to verify its compliance or non-compliance with the ADA, and its maintenance of the accessible features of the premises.”
A review of the various lawsuits show Marradi has cited common complaints such as inaccessible doorways, walkways, restrooms, and ramps, in addition to alleged parking space violations.
Marradi is being represented by attorney Ned Garno of Lowell. A message left with Garno on Wednesday evening was not immediately returned.
Last year Marradi sued the city and the owners of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, alleging that the famed tourist destination failed an ADA-compliance test.
“The goal is equal access for disabled persons at Faneuil Hall,” Garno told The Boston Herald at the time. “There’s many areas that disabled patrons can’t access like everybody else can.”
A check on the status of Marradi’s Faneuil Hall lawsuit shows that the matter remains tied up in litigation.
According to federal court records, Marradi has filed approximately 58 lawsuits since July of 2015.
In 2013 Marradi sued the city of Quincy, claiming that various streets, parks, and stadiums violated ADA requirements. Court records show that Marradi reached an undisclosed settlement with Quincy in January 2016.
Including his Quincy complaint, federal court records show that Marradi has been named as a plaintiff in a total of 65 ADA-related lawsuits since 2004.