Many New York-based businesses with websites, as well as bloggers, vloggers, and other New Yorkers with an online presence, may justifiably feel a bit more immune to lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) given the recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Winegard v. Newsday, No. 19-CV-04420(EK)(RER) (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2021), holding that a website does not constitute a “place of public accommodation” under the ADA.

That is because the court’s ruling in Winegard offers support for the view that the websites of businesses with no public-facing, physical retail operations are not included in the ADA’s definition of “public accommodations” and, therefore, that these businesses need not undergo the time and expense of making their websites ADA-compliant by, for example, providing closed captioning or other accommodations required by the ADA.

The Case