CUSTODIO & DUBEY – ADA Website Lawsuits/Demand Letters
The Karlin Law Firm LLP defends these claims and also works with businesses, website owners, web developers and webmasters to bring websites into compliance in a way that will avoid ADA violations claims. Web developers will often focus on WCAG 2.0 or WCAG 2.1, but much more needs to be addressed, and knowledge and experience in the current state of the law are critical to protect businesses, which needs to be explained to the web developer working on a website. The Karlin Law Firm LLP has resolved and consulted on 4,000 ADA cases, half of which are now website lawsuits and cases. We defend and provide the needed guidance in website compliance.
Here is an example of a letter below:
Custodio & Dubey Attorneys
VIA U.S. MAIL
123 Main St.
City, State, Zip Code
Re: Website Accessibility
To Whom It May Concern:
Please give this letter your immediate attention.
This law firm has been retained to prosecute a lawsuit against you on the behalf of our client (“Claimant”) who is a blind individual who attempted to access your website in order to find out information regarding the services your business provides.
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and various courts throughout the country have determined that businesses which offer goods and services to the public through websites are public accommodations that must comply with the general accessibility mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)1.
The international website standards organization – the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”) has published version 2.0 of the Web Contact Accessibility Guidelines (“Guidelines”). The Guidelines are widely recognized as setting the baseline requirements for website accessibility and have been used by the DOJ as a benchmark in assessing website accessibility.
- See, e.g., Gil vs Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Statement of Interest of the United States, Case No. 16-CV-23020-RNS (S.D. Fla.) (“Consistent with the text and legislative history of the ADA, the Department of Justice (Department) has long affirmed the application of Title II of the ADA to websites of public accommodations.”); Statement of interest of the United States, Nat’l Assoc. of the Deaf v. Netflix Inc., 869 F. Supp.2d 196 (D. Mass 2012), Available at http://www.ada.gove/brieds/netflix_SOI.pdf (discussing history of public DOJ pronouncements on the topic); National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation, 452 F.Supp.2d 946 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (denying motion to dismiss); 582 F. Supp.2d 1185 (granting motion for class certification); Thus, there is little doubt that the Title III accessibility requirement apply to websites. Cf. Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc. 763 F.3d 1171, 1175-76 (9th 2014).
Claimant reported to us that your website (your website) has access barriers. Claimant’s report has been confirmed by our consulting expert, who found the following barriers, including but not limited to noncompliance with WCAG 2.0 Level A guidelines 1.3.1, 1.4.1, 2.4.1 and 3.3.2, and Level AA guidelines 1.4.3 and 1.4.5.
- Proposal for Resolution and Remedial Measures
We propose the parties engage in pre-litigation negotiations, with the goal of achieving an enforceable agreement providing for injunctive relief, statutory damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees and coasts. WE would like to work constructively with you, on behalf of our client and others similarity situated, to achieve accessibility for all blind individuals who visit your website.
Remedial measures as part of a settlement would include, at a minimum, the following:
- Your company will commit to providing a WCAG 2.0 complaint website within reasonable time period;
- Your company will create, adopt and maintain a web accessibility policy consistent with prevailing standards; and
- Your company will implement other related policy, technology and programming, monitoring, and training measures as they are identified and needed.
My client has instructed me to file a class action lawsuit within twenty-one (21) days of today’s date if this matter is not resolved. As such, we hope that you will share our view concerning the value of a collaborative approach in resolving these accessibility issues. We look forward to hearing from you or your legal counsel.
The best way to reach me is via email at: [email protected]. Alternatively, you may reach me at my office via phone as a secondary means.