New Mexico AG launches probe into drive-by ADA lawsuits | KOB.com
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New Mexico AG launches probe into drive-by ADA lawsuits

Chris Ramirez
April 18, 2017 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- There could be more fallout for a controversial Arizona-based group behind nearly a hundred drive-by lawsuits.

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After watching 4 Investigates reports, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced he is investigating the group Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Rights -- AID for short --and how they are doing business in this state.

Since Friday night, the 4 Investigates team has exposed the group.  It vows to sue 100,000 businesses nationwide, and it's already trying to make its mark in New Mexico.

The group has caught Balderas's attention.

Alyssa Carton answered an ad thinking she was going to be a disabilities advocate.

"It was like, 'OK, make a change for ADA," she said. "There's money involved, a little bit if things work out.  Yeah, I'm making some money, but it was a cause I was interested in."

The ad was posted on AID's website. AID hired a driver for Carton and together they crisscrossed northeast Albuquerque, going into business after business -- not necessarily to shop but to look for potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Carton agreed to be a plaintiff in nearly 100 lawsuits. Carton said she got $50 a lawsuit.

"I just did what I thought was my job -- my role. Not my job, but my role," she said.

Here's the problem: being a plaintiff and suing businesses is not a job. Carton admits now she regrets getting involved.

And soon, AID may regret getting involved with New Mexico. Balderas has ordered a review of AID's practices the state. Part of that review may include Carton's Santa Fe attorney Sharon Pomeranz. Carton said Pomeranz helped orchestrate the drive-by lawsuits.

AID is based in Phoenix. The Arizona attorney general is investigating the group and has helped to dismiss more than a thousand drive-by lawsuits in that area.

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Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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