The number of New York federal website accessibility lawsuits is staggering, brought primarily by fifteen law firms/lawyers.  The lawyers appearing most frequently on filings are Joseph Mizrahi, Jonathan Shalom, Doug Lipsky, C.K. Lee, Bradley Marks, and Jeffrey Gottlieb.  We saw a surge in these cases after New York federal judges allowed website accessibility cases to proceed to discovery in lawsuits against Blick Art and Five Guys.  The 2018 New York website accessibility filing statistic brought New York into a close second to California in the total number of ADA Title III lawsuits (not just website accessibility cases) filed in federal court.


Does Ca law trump Federal or vice versa? We have a private community pool with 220 members. We have a swim team, which makes us a public entity (they allow nonmembers to join). We have been told to get 2 modes of entry into the pool. I would like swim team to pay for 2 chair lifts since we would be private and therefore not legally have to put in chair lifts without the team being there. Please advise.
The good news for potential defendants is that the only remedies available in private ADA suits are injunctions that force you to come into compliance and attorneys’ fees. If the Department of Justice gets involved, they can seek civil fines and penalties. Hence, you need to do the risk/benefit analysis as to whether it is worth challenging the claim or not. This report says the lawsuits are on the rise.
1:15 PM, Nov. 12, 2018: This story incorrectly says that nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in federal court for alleged website violations in the first six months of 2018 and that 10,000 were projected to be filed by year’s end, up 30% from 2017. Those numbers actually refer to all ADA lawsuits for disability discrimination involving public accommodation filed in that period. Of those suits, lawsuits alleging website accessibility violations totaled 1,053 in the first six months, a number that is projected to rise to 2,000 by year’s end, up 90% from 2017.

We are also being asked to show the future space for the 1 Van accessible EV space that would be required in the future, if the equipment was installed. And due to the requirement for the access aisle beside this space, in the future it would be converted to an access aisle resulting in the loss of one parking space. As this project is right at the required number of parking spaces per zoning, it is not acceptable to the zoning reviewer to sign off on a plan that shows a “future access aisle for future EV van accessible charging space,” as they are approving the loss of a parking space, even though this would not happen until a future condition, upon which I assume there would be some review process for installation of EV charging equipment. What is the appropriate path forward in this situation?
One of the first major ADA lawsuits, Paralyzed Veterans of America v. Ellerbe Becket Architects and Engineers (PVA 1996) was focused on the wheelchair accessibility of a stadium project that was still in the design phase, MCI Center (now known as Capital One Arena) in Washington, D.C. Previous to this case, which was filed only five years after the ADA was passed, the DOJ was unable or unwilling to provide clarification on the distribution requirements for accessible wheelchair locations in large assembly spaces. While Section 4.33.3 of ADAAG makes reference to lines of sight, no specific reference is made to seeing over standing patrons. The MCI Center, designed by Ellerbe Becket Architects & Engineers, was designed with too few wheelchair and companion seats, and the ones that were included did not provide sight lines that would enable the wheelchair user to view the playing area while the spectators in front of them were standing. This case[69][70] and another related case[71] established precedent on seat distribution and sight lines issues for ADA enforcement that continues to present day.

In 2017, plaintiffs filed at least 814 federal lawsuits about allegedly inaccessible websites, including a number of putative class actions. We arrived at this number by searching for lawsuits with certain key terms and then manually reviewing the results to remove any cases that did not concern an allegedly inaccessible website.  Our numbers are conservative, as it is very likely that not every website accessibility lawsuit’s description – upon which we based our search – contained our search terms. This caveat applies to all of the data set forth below.
Title II applies to public transportation provided by public entities through regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It includes the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), along with all other commuter authorities. This section requires the provision of paratransit services by public entities that provide fixed-route services. ADA also sets minimum requirements for space layout in order to facilitate wheelchair securement on public transport.[20]

With this legislation, California joins state and municipal entities in other parts of the country that have similar web accessibility requirements for governmental entities and contractors.  This legislation fills a small part of a void the federal Department of Justice has decided for the time being not to fill, when it put its pending regulations that would set an accessibility standard for state and local (as well as private entity) websites on the inactive list.
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No. To the extent that EVCS are a public accommodation or commercial facility they are covered by the federal law of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new accessibility requirements in the CBC are intended to provide full compliance with the requirements of the ADA. Compliance will help property owners meet their legal obligations under the ADA and avoid costly legal actions.


There have been some notable cases regarding the ADA. For example, two major hotel room marketers (Expedia.com and Hotels.com) with their business presence on the Internet were sued because its customers with disabilities could not reserve hotel rooms, through their websites without substantial extra efforts that persons without disabilities were not required to perform.[58] These represent a major potential expansion of the ADA in that this, and other similar suits (known as "bricks vs. clicks"), seeks to expand the ADA's authority to cyberspace, where entities may not have actual physical facilities that are required to comply.

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The prudent next step is running an audit on your site. The tools will crawl your site and identify all the areas that do not meet web accessibility standards for ADA compliance. The results will give you a very clear sense of the work involved so you can budget properly and weigh the benefits. Who knows, you may find out that your site is already fairly compliant, especially if you are on a fairly progressive platform and have used proper coding practices during your site build.

And once those new customers tell their friends and relatives how they found your website, more people will know you made sure to make it ADA compliant. The fact that you put this effort into ensuring everyone was included will set you apart from your competitors. Therefore, making your site ADA compliant is a great way to get some positive press for your business.
There have been some notable cases regarding the ADA. For example, two major hotel room marketers (Expedia.com and Hotels.com) with their business presence on the Internet were sued because its customers with disabilities could not reserve hotel rooms, through their websites without substantial extra efforts that persons without disabilities were not required to perform.[58] These represent a major potential expansion of the ADA in that this, and other similar suits (known as "bricks vs. clicks"), seeks to expand the ADA's authority to cyberspace, where entities may not have actual physical facilities that are required to comply.

In most cases such as you describe, however, you can easily widen a doorway enough to allow a wheelchair to pass with one or a couple of minor and very inexpensive techniques, starting with installing offset hinges (like they use on hospital room doors). These allow the door to swing open more widely than normal, since it is no longer opening within the cased door opening but outside it.
Resolution: Claimant called for a permanent injunction against Fox News, requiring them to take all steps necessary to make its website fully accessible and conform to accessibility standards. Burbon also sought for compensatory, statutory and punitive damages for violations of New York State Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law, court costs and attorneys’ fees, all with pre- and post-judgment interest. The parties reached a website ADA settlement agreement and the case was dismissed.
I am hearing impaired with one hearing aide and a cochlear implant in the other ear. It is becoming increasing harder for me to hear on the phone, in fact I have been texting as my first method of communication. On Tues I had a hearing test done, my hearing loss is progressively getting worse. Must cellular companies offer visual texting FREE to people under ADA? I live in CA. I am certified by the State of CA to be legally deaf.
Heather Antoine is the founder of Antoine Law Group, APC. Her practice is focused on the intersection between Internet law and intellectual property. Heather is primarily a litigator handling trademark/copyright infringement matters, cyber defamation, domain disputes, and privacy torts. She also counsels companies on setting up and maintaining their IP portfolios, privacy and FTC regulations, and drafts app/website agreements such as terms of use and privacy policies.

Title IV of the ADA amended the landmark Communications Act of 1934 primarily by adding section 47 U.S.C. § 225. This section requires that all telecommunications companies in the U.S. take steps to ensure functionally equivalent services for consumers with disabilities, notably those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those with speech impairments. When Title IV took effect in the early 1990s, it led to the installation of public teletypewriter (TTY) machines and other TDD (telecommunications devices for the deaf). Title IV also led to the creation, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, of what was then called dual-party relay services and now are known as Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), such as STS relay. Today, many TRS-mediated calls are made over the Internet by consumers who use broadband connections. Some are Video Relay Service (VRS) calls, while others are text calls. In either variation, communication assistants translate between the signed or typed words of a consumer and the spoken words of others. In 2006, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), VRS calls averaged two million minutes a month.
Legal precedent is changing, and ADA compliance related lawsuits are becoming more successful, and the courts are seeing more of them as a result. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act pertains to private sector businesses. Lately, those protections are more frequently expanding into digital territory as web and mobile applications become more necessary in our day-to-day lives.
This particular lawsuit amounted to nothing more than a shakedown for cash, as the current laws would make it difficult to win the suit in court (more about this later) but it prompted me to dive deeper into the issue of ADA compliance. Through my research, I discovered there are some new laws on the horizon that could make ADA compliance mandatory, which means web designers and digital marketers need to know how to prepare.
All work is required to comply with the applicable codes, standards and ordinances. Parking ordinances are typically adopted within each city and county in California. Consistent with the state’s policies on electric vehicles, DSA encourages city and county officials to recognize the necessary impact of EVCS and adopt responsive ordinances consistent with the local needs.
It is the intent of the California Legislature that the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code (Title 24) relating to accessibility by people with disabilities shall be used as minimum requirements to ensure that buildings, structures, and related facilities are accessible to, and functional for, every member of the public, so as to provide equal opportunity to access public accommodations. Access is to be provided to, through, and within the buildings, without loss of function, space, or facility where the general public is concerned.
Path of travel is a term exclusively used in CBC Chapter 11B within the context of alterations to existing sites (see Section 11B-202.4, including Exception 10). For EVCS projects it only applies where EVCS are installed at existing facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is a primary function. These types of facilities include gas stations, stand-alone parking lots and stand-alone parking structures (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10). When an accessible path of travel is required, an accessible path of travel to the specific area of alteration shall be provided; this path of travel, by definition in Chapter 2 of the CBC, includes a primary entrance to the building or facility, toilet and bathing facilities serving the area of alteration, drinking fountains serving the area of alteration, public telephones serving the area of alteration, and signs as well as accessible routes which connect the area of alteration with site arrival points such as sidewalks, streets, and accessible parking (see CBC Section 11B-202.4). These listed elements – primary entrance, toilet and bathing facilities, drinking fountains, public telephones, signs and site arrival points as well as accessible routes connecting all of them – are sometimes called “path of travel elements.” These elements are required to comply with the current code requirements or be brought into compliance when an alteration occurs. Compliance is required to the maximum extent feasible without exceeding 20 percent of the cost of the work directly associated with the installation of EVCS (see Section 11B-202.4 Exception 10).
I am disabled and live in an private community governed buy a strict HOA. They have very restrictive parking rules. Specifically, they do not allow residents to park in their own driveway (other than a brief time for unloading) and residents are not allowed to park in designated guest parking areas. The problem is I have a one car garage and if my wife is in the garage, my only option is to park outside the neighborhood witch requires me to walk across six lanes of Madison Ave. A friend, who lives in a similar kind of community, told me that as an ADA citizen I am exempt from any and all rules restricting parking within the HOA. Is that true?
As we had predicted, the number of website accessibility lawsuits (i.e. lawsuits alleging that plaintiffs with a disability could not use websites because they were not coded to work with assistive technologies like screen readers, or otherwise accessible to them) filed in federal court under Title III of the ADA exploded in 2018 to at least 2258 – increasing by 177% from 814 such lawsuits in 2017.
“I would really like to fight it, but it just comes down to finances,” he said, estimating that he could be forced to pay up to $25,000 in damages, plus lawyer fees, if he fights the suit and loses. In the meantime, several pages of the hotel’s website have been replaced with plain type because “no access is equal access for everyone, per the ADA requirements,” the site notes.

EVCS required to be accessible by CBC Chapter 11B must have both, an accessible route to the facility entrance (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.1) and an accessible route from the vehicle space to the EVSE (see CBC Section 11B-812.5.2). No exceptions are provided but you can use existing accessible routes to help satisfy these requirements. These requirements are separate from, and are not limited by the 20% cost cap on path of travel improvements.
If a building or facility has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist, and is subsequently the subject of an ADA lawsuit, the owner of the property can request a “stay” of proceedings for 90 days, which stops the legal process and provides an opportunity for the plaintiff and defendant to resolve whatever issues may need to be addressed.   An inspection by a Certified Access Specialist won’t guarantee that a property will not be subject to an ADA lawsuit, but it will  significantly reduce the likelihood that an ADA attorney will go after the property looking for $4,000 in statutory damages.
I live in an apartment building in Los Angeles called Virgil Square. The address is 411 S Virgil Ave. There are two elevators in the structure, with 4 floors including the parking garage. For the last three months, they have been broken down. I myself have had recent work on my knees, and there is an elderly gentleman who has advanced Parkinson’s disease and has literally been a prisoner in the building. This is not right. The elevators have both had notes on them for what feels like an eternity saying a solution is coming. Please help us.
Now that we have established the risks, where do we go from here? First, companies should run an accessibility scan of their webpages. There are numerous free online tools that can be used, including: http://www.wave.webaim.org and https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php. This will provide an overview of potential issues that need to be resolved. If you have in-house developers or IT, this is best handled by them. Second, look into getting ADA compliant before you receive a demand letter. Be aware however, that compliance is not cheap. Depending on your website, how much hand holding your company needs, and a few other variables, you could be looking at spending $25,000 – $50,000, on average. Third, if you receive a demand letter, make sure you hire counsel that has experience with these cases. Various legal arguments have been raised to dismiss these cases at the outset – some have been successful, but many have not. You have to consider all available options. And finally, since this will not be addressed by the DOJ anytime soon, ask your Congressperson to make sure guidelines are enacted as soon as possible. Those guidelines should take into account a business’ operations and size.
All work is required to comply with the applicable codes, standards and ordinances. Parking ordinances are typically adopted within each city and county in California. Consistent with the state’s policies on electric vehicles, DSA encourages city and county officials to recognize the necessary impact of EVCS and adopt responsive ordinances consistent with the local needs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA (42 U.S.C. § 12101) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964,[1] which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. In addition, unlike the Civil Rights Act, the ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.[2]
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