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Protecting small businesses from ADA website lawsuits

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2020 | Firm News |

Many companies in California may be deeply concerned about how they can protect themselves from a growing number of lawsuits that allege that a website or mobile app is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Supreme Court declined to review a case that linked the responsibility of a business to provide ADA accommodations on its website with the existence of a physical store or location where people could purchase goods or services. This left open the door for anyone claiming a visual disability to find one of the growing numbers of Law Firms to target any business whose website did not meet their particular needs. In some jurisdictions, it has even led to ADA website lawsuits against businesses that do not have a physical location, as well as those that do have a physical location. This affects not only sites that sell products but also sites that offer services, lodging, and any information about a company that does any business with the public.

The Department of Justice has not issued clear guidance on the standards it expects businesses to follow, nor has it stated that WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 is a legal requirement. On the other hand, such guidelines have been looked to when setting out (often agreed to) settlements with some companies. It is very important that all businesses, including very small business owners make appropriate changes to their websites as soon as possible for  ADA compliance.

One of the considerations is looking to see how a website appears when it is tested for compliance with accessibility standards published by the World Wide Web Consortium, in particular WCAG 2.0 and 2.1.

We can review your website for WCAG compliance and show you and your webmaster or web developer the best ways to avoid being the target of an ADA website lawsuit. Webmasters and Web Developers may know part of what to do, but they do not know what the Courts and the Department of Justice are saying needs to be done.  We have experience and are aware of what typical plaintiffs are looking for and can provide the needed guidance to significantly lower the risk of other claims.

The law firms that focus on ADA website litigation may be far less likely to target companies who display a strong intent to comply with accessibility requirements. Companies that do face a lawsuit risk may consult with an ADA defense attorney to help them push back against spurious claims.