Companies within and outside of California need to protect themselves from being sued for not maintaining accessible websites and apps. Recently, California attorneys have been filing numerous lawsuits against companies across the country on behalf of deaf or blind individuals, alleging that their websites and apps can not be accessed by those clients.
These lawsuits are being filed under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuits are being filed in California courts and are seeking statutory damages and injunctions against the companies. This can be problematic for them because they could be ordered to shut down their websites and apps by an injunction.
The lawsuits are often capped at a statutory damages amount of $4,000 per violation. However, the Unruh Civil Rights Act also provides for injunctive relief to order companies to bring their websites and apps into compliance or risk being forced to shut them down. The courts have reacted to the lawsuits by instituting standards for companies to protect themselves from these types of lawsuits. A component of these standards is compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Businesses rely on their websites and apps to reach customers. If they are forced to shut them down, they could suffer substantial harm. They might want to consult with experienced attorneys about getting their websites in compliance. If the companies are sued, the attorneys may work to defend them against the allegations contained in the complaints. The lawyers might be able to protect their clients’ interests and prevent their websites from being shut down through injunctions. Experienced attorneys might also carefully review the complaints in ADA website lawsuits and file a motion to dismiss if the allegations contained in them appear to be baseless.