ADA Website Compliance Lawsuit Case & Settlement Example

ADA compliance lawsuits for websites are becoming more common each year and have increased in trending since 2004. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have requirements for businesses to accommodate people that have a disability, which can include digital areas such as websites. Some of the disabilities that a person may have while using a website includes a deaf and/or blind person that requires a screen reader, voice, or other assistive technologies. It’s important that your website can function with these assistive technologies to help a person with a disability have access to all of the content on the site. 

If you want to jump to a specific ADA Website Compliance Lawsuit section, please select one below.

Some of these lawsuits can be settled quickly, but should be consulted with legal counsel (your attorney) to help negotiate a settlement.

At the same time, you should be reviewing and updating your website to be 100% ADA compliant. There are common issues that websites fail with ADA compliance that include contrast ratio errors on images and text, missing Alt text on images, empty heading tags, navigation issues with assistive technologies, etc. 

We have put together some information and examples of an ADA website compliance lawsuit to help encourage you to review your site for ADA compliance.

 

What to do if you have an ADA Compliance Website Lawsuit

First, find legal assistance with an experienced attorney to help with your website ADA compliance case. Next, get your website to be ADA compliant. There are several ADA compliance tools that help point out the immediate ADA compliance issues with your website, such as the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. As mentioned earlier, issues with color contrast errors, image alt text and navigational problems are the most common ADA issues found and called out in an ADA compliance website lawsuit.

Document that you have improved your website to be ADA compliant and followed WCAG 2.1 AA standards. This will show that you have taken steps to become ADA compliant and that you are doing something about it. If you have not been in an ADA compliance lawsuit yet, then still document when your website became ADA compliant. Have a dated report printed out showing that it is ADA compliant.

Example Websites with ADA Compliance Lawsuits

Below are example websites with ADA Compliance lawsuits over the past few years.

  • Winn Dixie Stores Inc.
  • Domino’s Pizza Inc.
  • The Kroger Co.
  • Hooters Inc.
  • Activision Blizzard Inc.
  • Ralph Lauren Corp
  • General Nutrition Corporation (GNC)
  • Payless Shoes
  • DASH (Kardashian’s store)
  • Study.com

The above examples may be big brand names, however, the small brick and mortar businesses are also being sued for website ADA compliance. More commonly are:

  • Online retail stores
  • Doctor and dental practice office websites
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Car dealerships
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Small local businesses
  • Government websites (IE: Parks, Museums, libraries, etc.)

Screenshots of an Example ADA Compliance Lawsuit

Below are example screenshots of an ADA compliance Lawsuit filing so you can see what possible sections may be called out on a website. Each website is different, so this specific example is in no way related to your website. Use the WAVE Tool if you want to see the current ADA compliance issues with your website.

ADA Compliance Lawsuit Screenshot #1 – First Page

The first page of what an ADA compliance lawsuit filing may look like.

First Page of an Example of an ADA Compliance Lawsuit

 

ADA Compliance Lawsuit Screenshot #2 – Navigation

One of the common issues a website might face in an ADA compliance lawsuit is the navigation of the website is not consistent across the site.

Navigation Example for ADA Compliance Lawsuit

ADA Compliance Lawsuit Screenshot# 3 – WCAG 2.0 AA

WCAG 2.0 AA is a common standard that is being pushed on websites to help become ADA compliant for the web. WCAG 2.1 AA is a higher standard that should be aimed to be met in case that bar is raised for ADA compliance for websites.

WCAG 2.0 AA ADA Compliance Lawsuit Example

ADA Compliance Lawsuit Screenshot #4 – ALT Text

ALT text is a common area that is failed on websites for ADA compliant. This should be an important fix, as this can help with SEO benefits as well.

ALT Text for ADA Compliance Lawsuit Example

ADA Compliance Lawsuit Screenshot #5 – Damages

Don’t let your website be at risk for unnecessary penalties, fines, attorney fees, or settlements from a lawsuit.

Possible Damages for ADA Compliance Lawsuit Example

 

Common Sections and Codes Called out in ADA Website Lawsuits

  • Civil Code Sections 54, 54.1
  • 42 U.S.C. § 12101
  • 42 U.S.C. § 12102
  • 42 U.S.C. § 12182
  • Section 302(b)(1) of Title III of the ADA
  • Section 302(b)(2) of Title III of the ADA
  • Section 508

Settlement Example for ADA Compliance Lawsuit for a Website

One example of an ADA compliance lawsuit for a small business would be a settlement for $1,000. However, the attorney fees racked up a $3,000-$4,000 bill. It’s better to fix your website now so it is ADA compliant. Each fine is per person, so you could have multiple lawsuits being racked up with a website not being ADA Compliant. Each case is different, so this is by no means an industry average for ADA compliance lawsuits. Consult with an experienced lawyer about your ADA compliance case.

Small Business Websites are being Sued for ADA Compliance

Small Businesses are being sued frequently for their Website not being ADA Compliant. As mentioned above, the following small businesses are increasingly being sued for their website not being ADA compliant.

  • Online retail stores
  • Doctor and dental practice office websites
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Car dealerships
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Small local businesses
  • Government websites (IE: Parks, Museums, libraries, etc.)

The Trend in ADA Compliance Website Lawsuits

The trend for website ADA compliance lawsuits has been increasing year over year. Among the most popular states where ADA website compliance lawsuits continue to grow are California, Florida and New York.

ADA Compliance Lawsuits Growth from 2005 to 2019 Graph

Graph of ADA Civil Rights Cases by Type (2005 – 2019) U.S. District Courts – Civil Cases Filed, by Jurisdiction and Nature of Suit Data is from https://www.uscourts.gov/statistics-reports/caseload-statistics-data-tables

 

Data Table for ADA Compliance Cases for the years 2005 to 2019

Data Table of ADA Civil Rights Cases by Type (2005 – 2019)

 

Need Help with ADA Compliance?

Get an experienced team that has worked with different types of industries to help address ADA compliance and website accessibility issues and become WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 AA compliant. If you are a brick and mortar small business owner that is looking to improve the accessibility of your current website or want to ensure that your new website is up to the WCAG standard, please contact us today for a consultation. (805) 409-7700

Contact An ADA Compliance Expert

 

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