FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - An attorney in Western Pennsylvania says a Florida consulting firm attempted to steer his clients away by spreading false claims that he abused drugs, according to a slander lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida-Broward Division.
Pete Monismith, of Pittsburgh, seeks damages in excess of $75,000 from the ADA Compliance Team, Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and its president, David Pedraza, on seven counts, including slander and tortious interference with a business contract. According to the complaint, representatives from ADA Compliance spoke to four of Monismith's clients in an attempt to drive them away.
The claim says that Monismith contracted with ADA Compliance to help investigate and prepare reports for Americans with Disabilities Act violations at various public accommodations. According to the complaint, ADA Compliance provides these services for numerous attorneys and attempted to encourage Monismith's clients to change representation.
The complaint highlights four clients that ADA Compliance allegedly met with and attempted to induce them to switch attorneys with false information that Monismith used cocaine. For example, the claim says, ADA Compliance representatives held a meeting with Sharina Jones in January 2014, in which they slanderously told her that Monismith could not handle her cases because he was overworked and had drug problems, he claims.
They successfully convinced her to switch attorneys, retaining a lawyer they falsely claimed had assisted Monismith with the ADA cases, according to the complaint.
ADA Compliance employed a similar tactic on another client, the complaint says, when it flew her from her home in Michigan to Florida and paid her to visit properties that could be sued for ADA violations. While in Florida, another meeting was held in which ADA Compliance representatives told the client that Monismith was too busy to handle her cases and an alcoholic, he claims. Again, ADA Compliance successfully induced the client to change representation, the complaint says.
Monismith claims that ADA Compliance's negligent and slanderous actions damaged his reputation and threatened his livelihood. He says several cease and desist letters were sent to the defendants in February and April, but they were ignored.
The plaintiff is represented by Anthony Brady in Maple Shade, N.J.