There is an emerging trend toward federal judges siding with plaintiffs in website accessibility cases under the ADA. On June 13, in what is believed to be the first case to go to trial on the issue, a judge in the Southern District of Florida in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. ruled that the lack of accessibility of supermarket chain Winn-Dixie’s website violated a visually impaired man’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act because 90 percent of the tabs and the search box on Winn-Dixie’s website did not work with screen reader software for the visually impaired, and the plaintiff had been on 500-600 other websites that actually work with the software. Two days later, in Gorecki v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a judge in the Central District of California held that a blind plaintiff’s website accessibility lawsuit against retailer Hobby Lobby could proceed to discovery. Then, a few months later, in Andrews v. Blick Art Material LLC and Markett v. Five Guys Enterprises LLC, two federal judges in New York denied retailer Blick’s and restaurant Five Guy’s motions to dismiss lawsuits, alleging that the defendants’ inaccessible websites violate the ADA. This article will discuss this emerging trend, analyzing which companies are likely to be subjected to website accessibility standards and providing some guidance on what companies can do to make their websites ADA compliant.
What Companies’ Websites Are in Danger of Violating the ADA?
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