Decrease In 2019 Website Accessibility Lawsuit Filings In Federal Courts
Website accessibility lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act in federal courts in 2019 saw a slight decrease from 2018. In 2019, the total number of website accessibility lawsuits (i.e., suits alleging that plaintiffs with a disability could not use websites because they were not coded to work with assistive technologies, or otherwise accessible to them) was 2,256 — two fewer than in 2018.
Law firm Seyfarth has analyzed the 2019 lawsuit numbers, and attorneys Minh Vu and Kristina Launey can comment on the recent case filing totals. They note that the number of suits appears to be leveling off after businesses saw an explosive 177% increase in these suits from 2017 to 2018. (See first chart below.)
Ms. Vu and Ms. Launey note that New York and Florida federal courts continued to be the busiest with 1,354 (down from 1,564 in 2018) and 526 (down from 576 in 2018) lawsuits, respectively, as shown in the second chart below. California and Pennsylvania bypassed Illinois and Massachusetts for the distant third and fourth positions, even though lawsuits for all those states more than doubled in 2019 over 2018.
They also note that the number of federal ADA Title III website accessibility lawsuit filings decreased in the fourth quarter of 2019, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Ninth’s Circuit’s pro-plaintiff decision in Robles v. Domino’s on Oct. 7, 2019. Prior to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the Domino’s case, an average of seven lawsuits were filed per day, as compared to four per day after Oct. 7 for the remainder of 2019.