Are you really being sued by/for kids?

The latest: Plaintiff Jon Carpenter sued at least 80 small, independent pharmacies throughout Los Angeles County, from Northridge to Carson, and as far East as Monterey Park (an approximately 600 square mile area).  Many of the defendants received letters demanding up to $22,000, so Mr. Carpenter and his attorneys appear to be seeking over $1,700,000.  

Many people can't understand why one person would sue 80+ pharmacies across such a broad area, all on the same day.  Many people have met Jon Carpenter-- his lawsuits seem to claim that he needed Braille and other auxiliary aids, such as special technology for hearing impairments; but is that true?  The claims Mr. Carpenter is making are nearly identical to over 100 lawsuits filed (and nearly all dismissed) by two previous members of the same organization-- Lissa Hayes (who sued over 70 pharmacies in Phase 1) and Jim Cohan (who sued another group in Phase 2).

Phase 1 (Lissa Hayes): In or about June 2007, Lissa Hayes sued approximately 70 pharmacies throughout San Diego County (some as far as an hour from her home and work); a majority of her lawsuits complained of a lack of wheelchair accessibility, Braille and an alleged failure of those pharmacies to provide auxiliary aids for hearing impairment.   On or about 31 August 2007, and again on 5 September 2007, Lissa Hayes appeared before United States Magistrate Judges Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jan Adler, respectively.  A number of members of the public, as well as court staff, witnessed each appearance.  In each, Ms. Hayes walked in without assistance, and did not appear to require Braille or auxiliary aids for hearing.  In the latter appearance, she was observed to read a spontaneously handwritten note from an associate, and also to read from a book.  Public outrage ensued as to why Ms. Hayes would sue approximately 70 pharmacies for auxiliary aids and accommodations anyone present in court could easily conclude she did not need.  Some time after that appearance, all remaining lawsuits Ms. Hayes had filed are believed to have been dropped, though some defendants had already paid settlements by that time; will they get their money back?

Phase 2 (Jim Cohan): In or about September 2007, Plaintiff Jim Cohan sued another group of pharmacies in San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.  Also represented by the law firm of Pinnock & Wakefield, Mr. Cohan's lawsuits included nearly identical allegations of a lack of wheelchair accessibility, no Braille and no auxiliary aids for hearing.  Sometime thereafter, a photo was produced of Mr. Cohan hiking up a hill with his unleashed dogs (undermining any claim for Braille or wheelchair accessibility); some time after the photo was produced, a majority of Mr. Cohan's remaining lawsuits were dropped.

Phase 3 (Jon Carpenter): Like Ms. Hayes and Mr. CohanPlaintiff Carpenter filed a number of lawsuits confirming that he was a member of the Tripple AAA Association, though many of the lawsuits he has filed since the information described above was exposed do not reference this affiliation as his earlier suits did (but the allegations for Braille, auxiliary aids for hearing and wheelchair access are nearly identical to those of Hayes and Cohan).  Evidence recently received suggests that Plaintiff Carpenter may also not need the adaptive devices his lawsuits suggests were necessary, as the lawsuits of Ms. Hayes and Mr. Cohan, all filed by Pinnock & Wakefield.  Does this mean that Pinnock & Wakefield has now filed more than 200 lawsuits against pharmacies with false claims?

Court fees waived for lack of income, but are settlements being reported as required? Even more troubling for many is the fact a very large number of Plaintiff Carpenter's lawsuits reflect applications and orders for waivers of filing fees based on financial need.  Generally, when a court issues an order that filing fees are to be waived, the applicant is ordered to inform the court if his/her ability to pay the court filing fees (and any other waived costs) changes.  A number of defendants who have paid settlements to Mr. Carpenter and his attorneys have expressed outrage that a number of the settlements paid to Mr. Carpenter do not appear on court dockets as having been disclosed to the court.  As taxpayers, many have grown concerned that the sort of actions and tactics described above are more likely to occur if plaintiffs can file lawsuits (by the hundreds) without cost or consequence.  If you paid a settlement to Plaintiff Carpenter and believe he has not disclosed it to any court in which he obtained a waiver of costs, please Contact Us.  

At least 6 Tripple AAA Association members fail to appear as required by court order:  On 31 August 2007, Plaintiffs Robert Arron McKissick, Aida Esteta Bartosh and Anna Marie Wiggins (an employee of Pinnock & Wakefield) failed to appear for regularly noticed court proceedings as required by court order.  On 5 September 2007, Plaintiff "Robin Member" aka Robin Lavender also failed to apper, pursuant to another court order in another case.  We are told that Plaintiff Jim Cohan also failed to appear for this deposition.  Plaintiff Jim Smith recently failed to appear for his own trial!  All of the foregoing have filed lawsuits through the offices of Pinnock & Wakefield which confirm that they are members of the Tripple AAA Association.  Is this group anyting more than an organized attempt to procure as many settlements as possible without fulfilling the obligations the law imposes on litigants?