Non-ADA Compliant Website Lawsuits

Recently I read about the large number of recurring lawsuits against companies because their websites didn't conform to ADA requirements. Companies are being sued multiple times. This makes a lot of sense because every service and every website theme and every extension we have found, doesn't actually get the website close to compatibility.

We think that once a company is sued, that company probably hires an ADA Compliancy service or they install an ADA add-on tool and think they have solved the problem. But we have found no service, no theme, no extension that actually will give compliancy. That is why we have developed our own theme and why we do the code changes manually to get as close to compliancy as we can.

A Few of the ADA Website Lawsuits

Below are some of the more noteable cases.

Click here to read about one person suing 175 business owners.

Click here to read the strategy of one small hotel owner.

Click here to read about how one person sued 15 wineries and click here to read about one person suing 50 universities

One blind man filed federal lawsuits against 10 art galleries websites in one day. Those galleries names all started with "A". The next day he started on the galleries that started with B. You can read about those art gallery business lawsuits by clicking here.

“Winn Dixie was sued for website violations, and it's the only case that I know of that's gone to trial. They lost,” said attorney Dan Anderson of Anderson Law Group in Clearwater. You can read more about the Winn Dixie case by clicking here.

April, 2021 Winn Dixie Update
Winn Dixie appealed the above case and won! Read more here. But they had lost the case in 2017: Read more above or by clicking here.

Winn Dixie's win was based on:
The two-judge majority placed a lot of weight on the fact that the ADA only applies to physical spaces. In their view, a website is not a public accommodation as the ADA defines the concept. However half of the district courts in the US say websites are places of public accommodation. So does the Department of Justice.

The ruling runs directly contrary to the 2019 Domino's decision by the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, which covers California and several other Western states. The plaintiff says he will appeal to the Supreme Court.

For more info see: and

One man, 18 months, 124 ADA lawsuits over websites, yes, it's as some of you have suspected, this report says it is the lawyers that are making the money.

"The 1st, 2nd, and 7th Circuits have essentially concluded that, in the language of the ADA, the internet is a place of public accommodation. So under the precedent from those circuits, any business – whether it’s online-only or also operates physical stores – can be liable for violating the ADA if its website or app is not fully accessible to disabled customers." Read more about the internet being a physical location by clicking here.

In some courts companies are losing the website lawsuits because they did "not provide any affirmative showing that its current website is ADA-compliant, and will remain that way, beyond asserting so and citing to the website itself."

In other words, if all you did was put up the notice saying you are working on ADA Compliance... that is not enough.

"Automated testing, depending on the sophistication of the tool, can only detect 30-40% of accessibility errors. The class action lawsuit against Beyoncé for her website’s inaccessibility is a case in point: User1st scanned Beyoncé.com with an automated testing tool and found that the site scores extremely well – around 94% compliance with World Wide Web Consortium standards. But, when we manually scanned the site – from the perspective of how a person with a disability would actually navigate the site – we found a number of glaring issues that make the website difficult, if not impossible, to use by someone who is not using a mouse." Read why automated testing won't work completely by clicking here.

Read about the Supreme Court ruling against Dominos by clicking here This lawsuit was because a blind person couldn't order a pizza online and the ruling effects all organizations.

The Good News

"As far as websites go, there is no federally codified direction on how to make websites comply," said David Engelhardt, a New York City-based small business attorney. "We only know that the ADA does apply to websites based on cases, such as [Gil v. Winn-Dixie]." (Winn-Dixie lost that case, no business has won an ADA website compatibility case that we know of.)

You should be able to at least demonstrate that your business has made a good-faith effort toward accommodation, should you ever wind up in court. Read the article about establishing that you are working towards compliance by clicking here.

"Three recent website ADA cases were dismissed on the basis that the defendants had entered into settlement agreements or consent decrees requiring WCAG 2.0 AA compliance, and were in the process of meeting that obligation, prior to receiving the plaintiffs' claims. These cases suggest that a court may look favorably upon a defendant that has independently initiated bona fide website ADA compliance efforts." Read more about those cases by clicking here.

ADA Website Compliance Assistance

If you have questions about your organizations liability for an ADA non-compliant website or if you need help getting your website protected give us a call or text today, 951.970.6172 or email