JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The disabled woman and her attorney who have sued at least 40 small businesses this year for violating federal access rules have become defendants.
For the past 10 days, the I-TEAM has reported about Wanda Moore and her attorney, Robert Gibson, who have sued dozens of restaurants and other small businesses since January for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
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In a major twist in the investigation, we learned Friday that Lubi's Hot Subs, one of the targets of the ADA lawsuits, has turned the tables by filing a lawsuit against Moore and Gibson accusing them of defrauding small business owners and abusing the ADA in order to make a profit.
Two local law firms representing Lubi's -- Thoele Drach and Terrell Hogan -- have turned the tables by filing suit against Gibson and Moore, accusing them of defrauding small business owners and abusing the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to make a profit.
This comes after Lubi's owner told the I-TEAM that Moore had never been in her business.
More businesses sued by Moore and Gibson claim the same thing -- that Moore was never on their premises. Suing over ADA violations by a qualified person never visiting the establishment would be against the law.
Some business owner believe that Moore's son, Rumley, was going in and taking pictures to attach to the lawsuit threats.
The I-TEAM learned that Rumley Moore works for Gibson's law firm. Rumley Moore was named in Lubi's lawsuit.
Attorneys Justin Drach and Amanda Thoele, of Thoele Drach, and attorney James T. Terrell, of Terrell Hogan, sent the I-TEAM a statement:
"The negative impact that these defendants have had on the community under the guise of the Americans With Disabilities Act extends beyond small businesses and their employees. The community wants answers and accountability, and they will get them."
The attorneys said this could rise to the level of a class-action lawsuit. They ask others who feel they were targeted by Moore and Gibson to call 904-600-4384 or email@example.com.
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