Prenda's Paul Hansmeier Has Been Busy Suing More Companies Over Questionable Website ADA Claims

from the count-'em dept

Earlier this week, we noted that Team Prenda's Paul Hansmeier appeared to be filing questionable lawsuits, claiming Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations, including over websites. We pointed out that this had the hallmarks of Hansmeier's historical trolling cases, including copyright trolling and settlement opposition: file nuisance cases that appear designed to encourage those sued to just pay up to settle. We pointed out that while there were just two of these ADA cases, since we only found out about the most recent one because it had been removed to federal court, we wondered if there were more lurking in Minnesota state court.

The answer is: yes, absolutely. And it didn't take long. Three more such cases have been removed to federal court, and they're all quite similar. In each case, Hansmeier claims that the websites violate the ADA by not being "accessible" to people with disabilities. In each case, the claims are highly questionable, as can be seen in the two responses that have been filed already (all embedded below). The earlier story involved a dentist office's website. The latest ones are a doctor's office, a bank, and a chiropractor. Basically small business websites. I expect that we'll be seeing many more of these as well. You'd think Hansmeier would be busy trying to defend all of the cases he's been losing where he owes attorneys' fees for his copyright trolling efforts, but apparently he just can't stop filing questionable lawsuits.










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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 6:17pm

    Get 'em while they're hot!

    He has to do this to pay for all those others.

     

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  2.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    It's going to be harder to file cases after he is disbarred. Or behind bars. But he will probably try anyway.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    Copyright enforcement's best and brightest. Anyone else surprised that these lads can't even get non-copyright law right?

    horse with no name just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  4.  
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    S. T. Stone, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:34pm

    How much longer can this game last?

    Seriously, I need to know because I need to ration out my popcorn stash.

     

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  5.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:40pm

    You'd think Hansmeier would be busy trying to defend all of the cases he's been losing where he owes attorneys' fees for his copyright trolling efforts, but apparently he just can't stop filing questionable lawsuits.


    I was wondering too: whether he delusionally continues to believe in his superior intellect and its ability to make easy money, or he finally started thinking about raising some funds for the inevitable criminal defense.

     

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  6.  
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    Baron von Robber, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:43pm

    familiar...

    He's a one man, litigious Ponzi machine.

     

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  7.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:45pm

    I don't know what to make of it, but Flint Million's relative (according to public databases) is Maureen Ellen Toonkel, who just happens to be a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Disabled in Minnesota. Have no idea if she is involved or not, just found this fact curious.

     

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  8.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 9:01pm

    As someone noticed on Twitter, it seems that "plaintiff" Flint Million is desperately trying to create artificial online presence. Zero contacts, seriously?

     

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  9.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

    Obviously Hansmeier is addicted to making the easy money, He isn't interesting in doing what other lawyers do which is actually use your practice and help people in the process.

    Hansmeier like Steele is motivated by greed and easy money. This was the case with the AF Holdings cases and with the class action objection cases and now with these DA cases (and I use the word cases as an example, feel free to use the word shakedown or extort if you so choose)

    Paul obviously has learned nothing from the various rulings against him and Steele and Prenda and the various sanctions that are coming his way.

    Further to that you have the multiple bar discipline referrals coming as of yet. Could this be a desperate last gasp to grab as much cash now while he still has a bar# to practice with, maybe so.

    I imagine Paul knows the clock is ticking before those footsteps in the night that wake him out of his sleep and sends him racing to the window to see if it is the FBI coming to collect him for RICO and tax evasion seem much too real, and one day they will be.

    Paul is making the desperate grab for cash before Duffy flips like Gibbs did, and that Mark Lutz would love to do if it wasn't for Steele holding his feet to the fire.

    The revenue form Porn litigation is dead in the water, any court that even hears the mere mention of Paul Hansmeier, John Steele or Paul Duffy and Prenda Law come up in a case is going to see off reminders of Judge Wright's ruling and the Judge throwing some serious side eye towards any litigation initiated by any of those three.

    We all know Paul and John will never return to practice like a normal would after set backs like these, they are too addicted to getting easy cash.

    Hansmeier and Steele will live on and so will their legacy as famous porn trollers in ethics classes around the U.S. as an example of how to know when you have crossed that line in your obligations to your oath as an officer of the court and your profession.

    They are really nothing more than a punch line that other Lawyers use around the water cooler. I am sure lawyers they use to see in the courthouse halls used to say hello before the Prenda saga come to light.

    Now I am sure that when other Lawyers see Paul or John coming down the hall, they do the fake phone call trick or pretened to read a paper in their hand or fake a coughing fit till they are by so they can quickly get away so as to not be caught associating with those lawyers.

     

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  10.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:00pm

    Let me guess, some of these people Hansmeier is suing on behalf of groomed his dog, or cleaned his house or office, or were maybe a childhood neighbor.

    I would say it was one of his invisible friends from childhood, but I doubt that even his invisible friends would want to be connected to Hansmeier and all the baggage he has with him after the Prenda saga.

     

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  11.  
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    Drew, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:32pm

    Why is this guy still licensed?

    Seriously the federal bar association needs to be sued for allowing such a gd disgrace to continue practicing. If they were forced to pay back the money he'll never pay back you can bet he would be stripped of his license in a heartbeat.

     

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  12.  
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    Mark Wing, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:51pm

    Wait, are they saying that my blog needs to have hand rails installed?

     

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  13.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:54pm

    Re:

    he is filing these actions in state court, so need the MN bar to pull his card.

    Sadly the wheels of justice do move slower for those who are a part of the machine, mainly because they know all of the tricks to slow down the process if anyone makes a misstep.

    With the recent referral to the MN AG and Bar, he might lose the ability to try and file these cases under the radar in state courts.

    Speaking of which, WTF don't we have a PACER style system for all State courts?

     

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  14.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 11:25pm

    You'd think Hansmeier would be busy trying to defend all of the cases he's been losing where he owes attorneys' fees for his copyright trolling efforts, but apparently he just can't stop filing questionable lawsuits.

    I can't help but wonder if the reason he's going around with so many shakedown lawsuits is to have a source of income he can draw from for the fines and fees from the other cases he's involved in, a stash of cash that won't require him to draw from Prenda's offshore accounts, as I'm sure there are more than a few individuals of federal persuasion that would quite love to see where he's keeping his funds.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 12:35am

    Re:

    Unfortunately for him, his extremely limited skill set means that the only job he can get is as a scumbag. I don't see this business venture being any more successful. Then again, the lucrative amounts of money juggled around thanks to copyright law letting it be so probably have more to do with it.

     

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  16.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, with how the system is set up currently, such actions tend to be very profitable, with almost no risk to the ones filing, or threatening to file, the lawsuits.

    Going to court is expensive, not to mention it requires taking time off that a person might not have to spare from a job, hiring a lawyer, dealing with all the legal crap... the whole idea behind nuisance suits filed by parasites like him is to make it just cheap enough for the target/victim to 'settle', paying to make the problem go away basically, but not expensive enough that it's worth fighting, and this particular scumbag has more than enough practice picking just the right amount to hit the sweet spot between the two, given he's been doing so for years now.

     

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  17.  
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    Dark Moe, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:31am

    I would wonder if Flint Million actually knows all of these lawsuits have even been filed. After all, as alleged, he is apparently blind.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:36am

    Shouldn't we ask all of these plaintiffs if they know they're involved in lawsuits?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Re:

    What would Mr. Ed have to say about his brethren?

     

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  20.  
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    88YearOldDefender (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:45am

    Re:

    Downstream, I'd be willing to bet that Toonkel will be part of the Hansmeier money machine. Don't know her, but given what she does for a living, it would seem logical that she'd be the one to give affidavits, expert testimony, you name it.

    Someone should check to see if Million has sued anyone in the past with another lawyer. Already with so many cases being filed all at the same time, it does raise an eyebrow.

     

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  21.  
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    88YearOldDefender (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:48am

    Popcorn for the Ponzi Scheme

    Someone earlier [Baron von Robber] characterized this as a Ponzi Machine. Excellent, and spot on.

     

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  22.  
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    JustMe (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:51am

    Small town much?

    Is downtown Minneapolis a pretty small place? In the HealthEast case I noticed that Paul (scum of the earth) Hans-looser is at 100 South Fifth Street while the dashing and noble Mark R. Whitmore is at 33 South Sixth Street. The fact that their offices are 443 feet apart just makes me laugh.

    https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!4m18!3m17!1m1!1s33+6th+Street+Southeast%2C+Minneapo lis%2C+MN!1m5!1s100+SE+5th+St%2C+Minneapolis%2C+MN+55414!2s0x52b32d79d3089379%3A0xf730e47db105b3e5!3 m2!3d44.9887402!4d-93.2532831!3m8!1m3!1d3130!2d-93.2532786!3d44.9887458!3m2!1i1256!2i852!4f13.1& fid=0

     

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  23.  
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    JustMe (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 4:59am

    Re: Flint Million

    Yeah, I thought the name was weird as well, very 70's porn star.

    I have no ill will for this guy because he is certainly a patsy, but I will note that the website for his business (helping blind and visually impaired people) does itself not appear to have any additional accessibility options for visually disabled people.

     

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  24.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    Hmm, could be another 'Cooper' scenario, where they only learn after the fact that their name has been 'borrowed' for a legal filing.

     

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  25.  
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    CTVic, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Easy pattern to pick up on

    File & collect, or dismiss & deflect.

     

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  26.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 5:43am

    Re: Small town much?

    Give the devil his due! Consulting a map of Minneapolis, I found that the courthouse is at Fourth Avenue and Fifth Street. Lawyers naturally prefer offices within easy walking distance of the courthouse.

     

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  27.  
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    Crusty the Ex-Clown, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 6:09am

    A Cobbler....

    .....should stick to his last. Glad to see Paul has finally found his niche....

     

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  28.  
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    MrPendent, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    Does Hansmeier suffer from the same delusional self-appreciation as Steele?

    I assumed he saw the rising costs they were being assigned and was trying to raise some cash in the only way he knew how--extortion.

     

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  29.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    It's the ponzi scheme of lawsuits. Hey Paul, whatcha gonna do when they pull your license, and you can't sue to pay for your previous scheme? Ask Maddow how well that worked out in the end.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    What a sociopathic dickhead.

     

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  31.  
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    Anon, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Has anyone noticed in the filings (& within each filing) how Hansmeier's signature is continually different? And differ from the copyright cases where both his and his brother's were identical initials mainly with odd placed dots?

     

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  32.  
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    JustMe (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Signatures

    Woah - you are correct. Even my scrawls (on the rare occasions where I write longhand) are all pretty similar.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    You forgot average_joe, bob, darryl and out_of_the_blue.

     

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  34.  
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    JP, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    wth??

    Ok, so in the article i linked to, Ms. Poss clearly says she gets paid to do this. HOWEVER, in the filing above, it's stated "Plaintiff receives no renumeration for her activities as a tester, which she undertakes for the public benefit of other individuals wit disabilities ..."

    am i losing it, or is Hansweiner? LMFAO!

     

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  35.  
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    WDS (profile), Nov 11th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    What is Hans doing?

    Hans has done things I didn't think were very smart in the past, but picking Health organizations to sue is plain stupid. Doesn't he realize in today's sue happy world health organizations have either in-house legal staff, or a Rolodex full of legal referrals. He needs to find some mom and pop small stores that will just roll over.

     

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  36.  
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    Bob, Nov 12th, 2013 @ 6:44am

    What an idiot

    Would someone PLEASE disbar this clown who is not only filing frivilous lawsuits, but doing so without the permission or even knowledge of his clients?

     

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  37.  
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    Steve, Nov 12th, 2013 @ 4:15pm

    Actually a really good lawsuit

    Say what you like about Prenda Law and the issues there, but the issue of non-accessible websites is a really serious one. Millions of people around the world are prevented from accessing websites that the rest of us take for granted because they fail to follow the basic guidance as referenced in these lawsuits - using actual text not pictures of text, providing alt-text for images, ensuring that text boxes are labeled correctly, not using visual-only CAPCHAS, etc.

    This is not rocket science and does not need to impact the look or operation of your website in any way. It just means that all of your potential customers or potential users of the service provided by your website can actually use it.

    Bravo for Mr. Hansmeier for going after people who willfully discriminate against the disabled.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2013 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Actually a really good lawsuit

    Hello, Steve Jones. Still trying to hawk your underage pornography? Feds will be coming for you next, you jacktard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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