ADA Title III

News & Insights

As we had predicted, the number of website accessibility lawsuits (i.e. lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs with a disability could not use websites because they were not coded to work with assistive technologies like screen readers, or otherwise accessible to them) filed in federal court under Title III of the ADA exploded in 2018 to at least 2258 – increasing by 177% from 814 such lawsuits in 2017.                …
The number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal court in 2018 hit a record high of 10,163 – up 34% from 2017 when the number was a mere 7,663.  This is by far the highest number of annual filings since we started tracking these numbers in 2013, when the number of federal filings was only 2,722.  In other words, the number of cases has more than tripled.  The chart below shows the explosion…
Seyfarth Synopsis: Ninth Circuit overturns district court’s dismissal of website accessibility lawsuit on due process and primary jurisdiction grounds, remands case to proceed with discovery. On January 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the fifth federal appeals court ruling on the issue of website accessibility, and there is no doubt that it is a victory for plaintiffs and their lawyers.  However, there are some pro-defense nuances that are worth pointing out. By way…
Seyfarth Synopsis: A new Ohio law will require notice and opportunity to cure as a prerequisite for a plaintiff’s recovery of attorney’s fees in physical accessibility lawsuits. Businesses across the country have been asking Congress to provide some relief from ADA “drive by” and “gotcha” lawsuits about physical access barriers at public accommodations facilities.  Federal efforts to amend the ADA stalled early in 2018, but a new Ohio law may provide businesses in that state…
Seyfarth Synopsis: The Department of Transportation says that an airline’s provision of an accessible alternative website violates the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), so are such websites an acceptable means of providing access under the ADA? In response to the onslaught of website accessibility lawsuits against public accommodations covered by Title III of the ADA, some website accessibility consulting companies have been promoting solutions that involve the use of an alternative version of a business’…
By: Kevin A. Fritz and Minh Vu Seyfarth Synopsis: The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit says that an agreement to arbitrate presented visually to blind plaintiffs on a POS device and never read to them is not binding. Season’s greetings! As the holiday season ramps up, retailers’ point-of-sale (“POS”) devices will again go into overdrive facilitating the holiday check out process and enrolling new loyalty program members. Retailers with POS devices that are…
Seyfarth Synopsis: Due process, DOJ’s failure to enact regulations, and whether the ADA covers websites arguments dominated the recent Domino’s Ninth Circuit oral argument. In the increasing morass of varying state and federal district court opinions in website accessibility cases, we will soon have two additional federal appellate decisions to provide more guidance of precedential value to federal trial courts.  Most recently, on October 12, the Ninth Circuit heard the parties’ oral arguments in Robles…
This morning, October 12, in sunny Pasadena, California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the Robles v. Dominos case. The main issue on appeal was whether the district court erred in applying the doctrines of primary jurisdiction and due process as the basis for granting Domino’s motion to dismiss Robles’s claims that Dominos violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act due to an inaccessible website. The parties and judges…
Seyfarth Synopsis: Florida court rules that plaintiff must allege more than being unable to learn about a brick-and-mortar business to state a claim that an allegedly inaccessible website violates the ADA.  Allegations that an inaccessible website prevents a blind plaintiff from “learning” about a brick-and-mortar location are insufficient to state an ADA claim, according to one recent federal court decision in Florida. In Price v. Everglades College, the plaintiff alleged that he called a…
Seyfarth Synopsis: DOJ’s response to members of Congress about the explosion in website accessibility lawsuits contains some helpful guidance for public accommodations fighting these claims. As we reported in June, 103 members of the House of Representatives from both parties asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “state publicly that private legal action under the ADA with respect to websites is unfair and violates basic due process principles in the absence of clear statutory authority and…