Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

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There is a rapid increase in the number of lawsuits and threatening demand letters sent to organizations for having websites that are inaccessible to people with certain disabilities. Rather, there must be a decline in the ratio instead of a hike. This article highlights the reason for the increasing number of lawsuits from those past years as well as a web accessibility lawsuit report for better clarification.

The number of Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Data (2017-2018) 

According to ADA Title III, there was a minimum of 2258 digital accessibility lawsuits recorded in 2018. With a drastic increase from 814 lawsuits in 2017. A bar graph shows the increase in the number of lawsuits dramatically from 2017 to 2018. This shows that the data has staggeringly become tripled in those two years. 

, Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

Reason Behind Such a Rapid Explosion of Website Accessibility Lawsuits

The main reason is the unclarity of the guidelines. Title III of ADA has no explicit mention of websites as it was written during the Internet’s inception.  Moreover, there were conflicting verdicts on a range of issues related to Title III and website accessibility. 

For instance, some courts have ruled that all websites are covered by Title III of the ADA while others have ruled that only websites for organizations with a physical location are covered. 

Due to this conflicting nature of federal rulings, an environment of rising litigation has taken and continues to grow.

It is also noted that in 2010, the Department of Justice under the Obama Administration announced the plan to revise the rules and create website accessibility regulations. However, due to constantly changing web technology, the process was delayed for many years. 

In 2018, the House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act – but it was not specified to digital accessibility. Instead, it was about the steps that the plaintiff must go through before they can sue any organization under Title III. According to publication, the bill has not been brought up for a vote and is still stuck in the Senate. 

By seeing the situation, it is likely believed that it will take a long time. In addition, it is advisable to make your business protected to stay away from getting sued. Web accessibility lawsuit report says the following data. 

New York And Florida Based Plaintiffs

It is noted that New York and Florida are the two states that bring maximum lawsuits. Although this information is for the plaintiff’s and lawyers’ residence, not the companies being targeted. 

, Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

Headquarters of The Companies of New York and Florida 

Taking a look at the headquarters locations listed in New York and Florida filing, it is clear that the whole nation is affected globally. 

, Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

The Industry Pattern: 

The majority of the cases being highlighted by the General pattern over 2017 and 2018 towards the industries like: 

  • Retail
  • Food Service
  • Travel/Hospitality
  • Banking/Financial
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Self-Service

, Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

Defending Lawyers Vs Plaintiff Lawyers 

The report lists the top 10 on lawyers and plaintiff lawyers on a regular basis that will likely seem similar settlements and agreements being agreed over time.

, Increasing Federal Website Accessibility Lawsuits Facts

Summary: 

The reports show the rampant nature of lawsuits over two years within these states has affected globally. Till the rules get revised, it is strongly recommended to protect your business by making your website ADA compliant. Moreover, you can take assistance from professionals who can make your website ADA compliant as well as provide other services that would be according to the guidelines of ADA Compliant.