Accessibility is important to Beardbrand, my company. We respect consumers with disabilities and try to serve them. Still, we were recently sued for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Stunned, I turned to a fellow entrepreneur whose company has dealt with frivolous lawsuits. I first interviewed Joel Runyon for this podcast in May 2022 when we discussed Impossible, his nutritional performance brand. In our recent interview, he shared his experience of getting sued.

The entire audio of that conversation is embedded below. The transcript is edited for length and clarity.

Eric Bandholz: I need your advice on lawsuits.

Joel Runyon: Lawsuits seem to find us; we don’t find them. Our company is called Impossible. We’re a direct-to-consumer brand selling nutritional drinks and supplements.

Many folks who file lawsuits are looking to shake you down for money. Entrepreneurs launch businesses because they want to change the world or create something. Someone should do something about frivolous lawsuits. Some of these suits self-perpetuate because plaintiffs know they can harass people until they get whatever amount of money they want. But most entrepreneurs want to do the right thing on the principle.

Bandholz: The person suing Beardbrand allegedly tried to buy our Sea Salt Spray, and she’s suing 50 other companies for what she says are violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Runyon: If you want to stop her, there are different ways to scale it out. Initially, you have your lawsuit that you’re concerned about, and you’d like that to be over. Then you have this person going out and suing 50 people. She’s not likely the only person doing that. It’s a whole industry. It depends on what the goal of fighting it would be.

If you want to resolve the acute issue of your lawsuit, figure out what that payment is and have it handled. If you’re contesting this person and what she’s doing — batch suing…

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