Jeremy Horelick of ADA Site Compliance called my attention to a recently filed lawsuit making a novel ADA claim. In Panarra v. HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc., Case No. 6:20-cv-06991 (W.D.N.Y.) the plaintiff claims that because he is deaf he is denied equal access to the virtual reality games and experiences offered by defendants’ website, https://www.viveport.com/infinity. This, he claims, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York law.² The lawsuit can be seen as just the latest in a line of cases stretching back at least to Arizona ex rel. Goddard v. Harkins Amuse. Enterprises, Inc., 603 F.3d 666 (9th Cir. 2010), a case arguing that a chain of movie theaters was obliged to provide closed captioning for the movies it showed and even to Stoutenborough v. Natl. Football League, Inc., 59 F.3d 580, 582 (6th Cir. 1995), a case claiming that the NFL’s “blackout rule” discriminated against the deaf in violation of the ADA because it meant that for many games the only broadcast available was a radio broadcast. That chain of cases certainly includes Natl. Ass’n of the Deaf v. Netflix, Inc., 869 F. Supp. 2d 196 (D. Mass. 2012) since at the center of Panarra’s argument is the fact that since Netflix provides captions for its content it must be possible for HTC to do so as well. More
By Richard Hunt in ADA, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Internet, ADA Internet Web, ADA Litigation Procedure, Rehabilitation Act, Section 508 Web Access Tags: ADA defense, ADA website accessibility, ADA Website Litigation, Online Accessibility Act, Representative Lou Correa, Representative Ted Budd
On October 2, while the news covered President Trump’s admission to Walter Reed for treatment of Covid-19, Congressmen Lou Correa (D-CA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the bipartisan Online Accessibility Act, which they claim will “increase website accessibility and reduce predatory lawsuits filed against businesses.”¹ Will it work? That’s a reasonable question.
Lainey Feingold, a long time and well know advocate for those with disabilities, referred to my earlier blog on website plug-ins* that promise accessibility in her latest blog. HONOR THE ADA: AVOID WEB ACCESSIBILITY QUICK-FIX OVERLAYS. That was nice, but even better was the way she collected other sources on website plug-ins and their problems, making her blog well worth reading for anyone interested in this subject. Of course no matter how much you study the situation the conclusion is always the same – you can’t make a website accessible with a plug-in and you certainly can’t avoid lawsuits with a plug-in. Businesses need relief from lawsuits that do nothing to promote accessibility and drain resources away from remediation, but that relief isn’t going to come in the form of doing almost nothing.
By Richard Hunt in ADA, ADA Internet, ADA Internet Web, ADA Web Access, ADA Website Accessibility Tags: accessible.org, ADA defense, ADA Internet, ADA website, FHA Defense, Kris Rivenburgh, WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Internet, ADA Internet Web, ADA Web Access, ADA Website Accessibility Tags: ADA defense, ADA Website Litigation, Browsewrap, Clickwrap, Miracle-Pond, Shutterfly, website arbitration
I’ve written before about the possibility that a properly written clickwrap or browsewrap arbitration agreement could help tame the ADA litigation monster, which like the Hydra seems to grow two new heads for each one that is cut off. A new decision from the United States District Court in Illinois, Miracle-Pond, et al. v. Shutterfly, Inc., No. 19-CV-4722, 2020 WL 2513099 (N.D. Ill. May 15, 2020) confirms that except in cases involving California consumers* a clickwrap or browsewrap type agreement can indeed force a lawsuit to arbitration provided it is properly written and presented to the user. More