Photo by Loren Worthingon

A longtime adaptive mobility dealer faces allegations by several of his customers. Were his actions intentional, or is he himself a victim of the larger economic crisis?

On May 21, 2009, in a federal courtroom, about a dozen people, most of them wheelchair users, raised their voices in objection to the filing of a personal bankruptcy by Charles “Chuck” Kutz, owner of the now defunct Adaptive Driving Systems of Canoga Park, Calif.

[no relation to Adaptive Driving Systems of San Luis Obispo, Calif.]. The group of ADS customers were reportedly united in their contentions that each had been knowingly ripped off by Chuck Kutz. But you wouldn’t know there had been any such claims by going to the ADS website.

“Due to extreme pressures brought about by the current economic crisis, after 28 years of business, Adaptive Driving Systems has been forced to close its doors,” read the website announcement. Customers were referred to a nearby competitor, Mobility Works, for service, but contact information for Kutz was absent.

Former ADS customer Larry Singer, 41, of I