A San Francisco judge on Monday threw out a groundbreaking lawsuit filed jointly by the San Francisco and Los Angeles District Attorney’s offices that had alleged Potter Handy, a prolific disability rights firm, filed thousands of fraudulent American with Disabilities Act cases against small businesses in a “shakedown scheme” that extracted tens of millions of dollars.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow based his decision on California’s litigation-privilege statute, calling the law “very broad” and writing that it bars “on its face” the district attorney offices’ restitution and injunction-based case against Potter Handy.