A Queens man who uses a wheelchair to get about has been ambitious $50,000 a pop from dozens of Manhattan businesses — or abroad he’ll sue them over their abridgement accessibility for the disabled.
Arik Matatov, 24, lives in Rego Park, but that didn’t stop him from targeting about 50 Manhattan shops — from Christian Dior to a artist conjugal salon — over a six-week aeon aftermost winter.
He huffed it out to anniversary area with a pal, who photographed him alfresco the establishments, which lacked ramps or elevators, according to his Manhattan Supreme Cloister lawsuits.
“He’s attractive to accept admission to places. He’s actual able on that,” said Matatov’s lawyer, Jeffrey Neiman, who would not acquiesce his applicant to be interviewed.
But back asked why the abandoned Matatov visited food that acutely accept little to action him, including the cher conjugal salon Karen Willis Holmes off Broome Street and the beauty-supply abundance Red Flower on Prince Street, Neiman claimed, “He brand to browse.”
Reached by buzz Sunday, Matatov sighed back The Post asked him about his lawsuits.
“No comment. I am not home,” he said afore blind up.
Matatov and his advocate accursed off aggressive belletrist to at atomic 49 businesses.
“To abstain litigation, we action to achieve this amount for $50,000 additional the charge to acquirement and accept readily attainable a carriageable ramp,” the belletrist read, according to a archetype of acquired by The Post.
“It’s extortion,” said Philip Pizzuto, the advocate for one of the shops, Caffe Roman, a 127-year-old Broome Street institution.
Matatov claims in cloister affirmation that back he visited Caffe Roman on Dec. 21, his acquaintance “went central to allege to an agent and ask if they had a admission or added alternating entrance.”
“The agent abreast me they did not accept either,” the pal, Amner Barayev, says in an affirmation filed with the suit.
But Pizzuto said, “That was aloof a complete lie.”
He said the bistro has a admission acclimated by wheelchair-using audience and beatific The Post photos of barter on it.
A man who looks aloof like Barayev answered the aperture on Sunday at an abode listed to a actuality by the aforementioned name. But he denied alive Matatov.
Neiman banned to animadversion on the Caffe Roma case because it’s in litigation, but he addressed Pizzuto’s allegation.
“It’s hardly extortion to accept somebody accede with the law,” he said.
Neiman said he chose the $50,000 amount because it is what the accompaniment advocate accepted could accomplished the businesses for not acknowledging with handicap-accessibility laws.
“We’re not authoritative bulk and bulk of money,” Neiman said.
He wouldn’t say how abundant Matatov has calm in settlements but boasted that 10 business accept fabricated their entrances attainable in acknowledgment to his demands.
Steven Kirkpatrick, a advocate for the contemporary women’s accouterment abundance AYR in Soho, said he agreed to acclimatized Matatov’s case for beneath than the $50,000 demand.
Kirkpatrick said he has noticed an advance in such affliction apparel in contempo years.
“It’s accessible money for lawyers,” he explained.
Critics, meanwhile, said the lawsuits do little to advance the lives of bodies in wheelchairs.
“Multimillion-dollar cookie-cutter-claims like these accept annihilation to do with accretion admission for the disabled,” said Tom Stebbins, administrator of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.
“The cloister arrangement is actuality exploited to annoyer baby businesses into advantageous out settlements.
“It’s extortion, apparent and simple,” he added.
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