POTTER HANDY LLP DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION – TRACI MORGAN
The following is an example arbitration demand by serial ADA lawsuit filer Traci Morgan. Morgan is represented by attorneys Amanda Seabock and Dennis Price alleging website accessibility issues against business and website owners. Center for Disability Access is well known for filing lawsuits under the American Disabilities Act. Langer files in the Northern and Southern District of California Federal Court.
POTTER HANDY, LLP
Chris Carson, Esq.
Krista Hemming, Esq.
Sarah Anastasi, Esq.
June 1, 2022
xxxxx website owner xxxxx:
Please be advised that this firm represents Ms. Traci Morgan. This notice is in connection with Ms. Morgan’s attempts to use and interact with the website xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (“Website”) and associated digital platforms. Specifically, Ms. Morgan is a visually impaired consumer who attempted to avail herself of the goods and services on the Website, which are publicly available to users, and provide details about xxxxxx itself, location and about accessibility of the restaurant for the disabled without any ambiguity as to the amenities that would be available to the patron. In addition, the Website outlines the privacy policies governing their use and represent several ways a consumer can protect themselves and their valuable personal information. Ms. Morgan, and other impaired users, employ a variety of accessibility software, including VoiceOver and ZoomText, to access the internet and consume website content using her computer as well as websites and applications on mobile devices (“Accessibility Software”).
Ms. Morgan visited the Website in January and February 2022, with the intent access the services offered by xxxxxxx. When Ms. Morgan attempted to navigate the Website, Ms. Morgan encountered numerous accessibility design faults that prevented her from navigating the site successfully using SRS. Investigation into her experience revealed barriers, including, but not limited to:
- Images on the website lack a text equivalent readable by
- The visualization of the webpage contains impermissibly low contrast enabling differentiation of background and foreground elements.
- The website contains script elements that are not identified with functional text readable by
- Navigation headings lack information to enable keyboard or screen reader users to navigate with
Though a widget purporting to offer accessibility features was present during investigation, this widget is not readable by Ms. Morgan’s preferred SRS. It was thus entirely invisible and non-functional to Ms. Morgan.
These inaccessible elements rendered the ostensibly “accessible” elements inaccessible as a result of difficulty and confusion navigating the numerous inaccessible elements. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), it is an act of discrimination to fail to ensure that the privileges, advantages, accommodations, facilities, goods and services of any place of public accommodation is offered on a full and equal basis by anyone who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation. See: 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). Additionally, the Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh”) provides that a violation of the ADA is a violation of the Unruh Act. Cal. Civ. Code § 51 (t). Due to the failure to construct and operate the Website in line with industry standards, Ms. Morgan has been denied equal access to xxxxxxx and the various services, privileges, opportunities, and benefits offered to the public by xxxxxxxx.
Pursuant to the arbitration clause located on the Website, we are providing xxxxxxxxx notice of this dispute and a copy of the demand being filed with the American Arbitration Association if we cannot reach a resolution within 30 days, as prescribed by the arbitration clause. The attached [proposed] Complaint outlines the specific cause of action we intend to bring, and remedies sought in arbitration.
In order to resolve this dispute and dispense with the need of further resolution, Ms. Morgan hereby demands that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx remedy this violation of law by correcting, repairing, replacing, or otherwise rectifying the Websites defects and make them accessible to visually impaired users in compliance with the ADA and Unruh. Specifically, Ms. Morgan demands that xxxxxxxxx take the following actions:
- Identify errors on the Website which render them incompatible with accessibility software;
- Bring the Website into compliance with WCAG 2.0 A/ AA standards and agree to conduct accessibility assessments every 6 months;
- Cease to engage in the methods, act or practices outlined in this letter and in the attached [proposed] Complaint
Also note, the property owner or tenant, or both, may be civilly liable for actual and statutory damages for a violation of a construction-related accessibility requirement. Cal. Civ. Code 55.31(b)(l).
We are contacting you prior to submitting the demand to arbitrate or filing the complaint in court, in an attempt to informally negotiate, in good faith, a resolution of this dispute. We would like to try to resolve this dispute before litigation and/or arbitration if possible. In the event that you wish to pursue pre-arbitration/pre-litigation mediation, or simply discuss ways of resolving the dispute, please contact me as soon as possible. In the event that you do not respond, we will submit a formal request for arbitration or file a civil complaint, with an understanding that xxxxxxxxx does not wish to negotiate early resolution of these claims.
Please feel free to contact me at the above number or email address. Thank you in advance for you attention to this matter.
/s/ Chris Carson
Chris Carson, Esq