Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to letters@ocweekly.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.

The following letters are in response to R. Scott Moxley's "The New Crips" [Oct.13].

Your article is full of inaccurate non-facts. They are so numerous that I will need to sit down and go through each one, so I will be able to list all of them. I will expect a printed retraction. I suggest you get a new fact checker because the one you have sure failed to do their job! Please watch for my e-mail as it will be sent after I list each mistake for you as soon as my health permits.
David Gunther
Via e-mail

Mr. Moxley, this is David's wife, Olga, the alleged "Russian immigrant." I am NOT Russian. I am from Ukrainian descent. You have HUMILIATED me and my family. I want a full retraction. Who did the research on this bogus article? I expect a COMPLETE RETRACTION or I will be forced to take LEGAL action RIGHT AWAY.
Olga Gunther
Via e-mail

Thank you for providing a very interesting story. I became disabled in the early '90s due to a car wreck; I did lose a leg and use a wheel chair quite frequently. However, what D. Gunther is doing is truly sickening. I've not met a business owner who would not help you accomplish your needs as a disabled patron.
Via e-mail

Excellent reporting! Having represented one of these defendants, I was personally offended by the actions of both this plaintiff [Gunther] and his attorney [Morse Mehrban]. Perhaps with the exposure of your story, either the county or state authorities will address and correct this loophole, as well as bring these two characters to justice.
Bert Cottle
Via e-mail

I just read your one-sided, sensationalistic opinion-disguised-as-news article about Gunther-the-Terrible, i.e. the big, evil wheelchair-bound David Gunther who dares to sue businesses who refuse to comply with the ADA. Your biased reporter, R. Scott Moxley, focused only on demonizing and said nothing about the real issue. Unfortunately, it takes a Gunther-the-Terrible to force widespread ADA compliance because so many businesses otherwise do not care. The real issue is not the motives of the Gunther-the-Terribles but the thousands of California business establishments that refuse to comply with the ADA until a Gunther-the-Terrible comes along and sues. In places like Eagle Rock and Fresno, these types of lawsuits not only forced compliance but also got businesses and the local chambers of commerce to distribute ADA compliance checklists, something they never did before.
Marc E. Angelucci
Los Angeles

Thank you for your article and interest in this matter. We are a fast food franchise in San Pedro and were sued by Gunther and Mehrban. Gunther got $4,000 and Mehrban got $6,000. Our attorney said it could cost [us] $100,000 to go to court . . . a risk we were not willing to take. It is essentially impossible to be in complete compliance with the federal and state ADA laws. It is only fair that a business be notified if there is a problem and be given a certain amount of time to fix it before a suit can be filed.
Ginger Bredesen
Via e-mail

Thank you for such a well-researched story on this problem! John and Ken of 640 AM were first to really expose this scam (and it was through them that I found your article), but it's great to see this racket being fully exposed by your paper. I decided to sell my business after paying several thousand dollars in settlement and attorney's fees in exactly such a case. We should have been exempt from ADA due to the age of our rented premises, but it was too costly to fight the stupid system and to pay for costly upgrades required by the ADA for a facility we didn't own. This is just one of the many unnecessary legal and regulatory challenges that small business owners face every day in California. But it works for trial lawyers!
Via e-mail

This is such a big problem. The sad thing, too, is that insurance will not cover ADA lawsuits, so the settlement money comes out of the small business owners' savings.
Maryann Maloney
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
Via e-mail

Regarding your article titled "The New Crips," I was not quite sure, at first, how to react. While the activities of David Allen Gunther are despicable, and he is certainly a con man who has found a way to use the law for personal gain, those disability laws he is abusing are important to the disabled community. I have experienced the difficulties wrought by paralysis on a daily basis with a family member, and it is a situation fraught with indignities and not to be taken lightly. The attorney mentioned in the article should not be allowed to keep filing suits, representing the same individual while having a proven pattern of deception. Like every other marginalized segment of society, the disabled community must fight hard each and every day for the things they need, which include the standards as set forth in the ADA. Articles such as this send out a very negative message about a relatively small and misunderstood segment of the community and, ironically, will probably have no effect in stopping the person in question from continuing his abuse of the system.
Steve Hopper
Via e-mail


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