Over the last few years, private businesses have faced a flood of lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), alleging their websites and mobile applications are not fully accessible to the blind and visually impaired. The law in this area continues to evolve, but, in general, courts have not been friendly to defendants in the early stages of these cases.
Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that will likely embolden the plaintiffs’ lawyers who have been bringing these cases against unsuspecting defendants. In Robles vs. Domino’s Pizza, No. 17-55504, __ F. 3d __ (9th Cir. Jan. 15, 2019), the Ninth Circuit held that:
The Robles decision is one of the few appellate decisions to date on website and mobile app accessibility, and it provides another reason for private businesses to play it safe in this area. That is particularly true for businesses with highly interactive websites or apps designed to facilitate transactions that might otherwise be completed in a brick-and-mortar store.
Gray Plant Mooty has advised a number of clients in this area and regularly works with IT departments and independent accessibility consultants to identify accessibility strategies that make sense for the client’s business, provide appropriate levels of accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, and minimize exposure under the ADA and analogous state laws. Those strategies may include:
Please contact us if you or a business owner you know would like to discuss what you can do to maintain appropriate levels of accessibility and guard against ADA claims in this area.
Gray Plant Mooty is recognized as one of the leading corporate law firms in Minnesota and one of the top franchise firms in the world. Our roots go back to 1866. Today, we are a full-service firm with nearly 180 attorneys and offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; and Fargo, North Dakota.