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Lawsuit thins wallet of Aztec Hotel owner November 14, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels.

Kathie Reece-McNeill owns the historic Aztec Hotel in Monrovia, Calif., and is carefully restoring the Route 66 landmark.

However, her pocketbook is lighter after fighting a lawsuit that alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations, reports the Sacramento Bee. Reece-McNeill rebutted attempts to settle out of court, and she won the lawsuit. But the battle cost her $100,000.

Irene Meola was the plaintiff, and she ultimately lost because the judge found her statements to be inconsistent during court proceedings. Regrettably, Reece-McNeill was unable to recoup her legal fees because Meola’s statements were not ruled as “intentional deceit.”

If I ever establish a Route 66 Hall of Shame, Meola will be on the list. One hundred thousand clams is a lot of money that could have been better-used for preservation.

Meanwhile, Reece-McNeill is made of tough stuff. She’s continuing with the hotel’s renovations, and she’s also formed an Access Without Lawsuits group to help business owners achieve disabilities access and lobbying the state legislature to find better solutions to the problem.

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