I’ll be speaking at the Accesibility.com January event “Trends in Digital Accessibility Lawsuits” on January 25, 2022 beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET. The online event begins at 1:00 p.m. ET and will include Ken Nakata of Converge Accessibility and Reeve Segal of Denenberg Tuffley. I’ll outline the current state of website accessibility litigation and discuss the different players on the plaintiffs’ side, including their demands and strategies for early resolution. You can learn more at https://lnkd.in/eEBzk9fe.
ADA – serial litigation
I continue to receive calls from businesses all over the country who have received demand letters from Aluko Collins and his United Legal Team, supposedly on behalf of an individual named Denaryle Williams.¹ As of December 15 it does not appear Mr. Collins has filed a single ADA lawsuit, nor does it appear that Mr. Williams has been a plaintiff in any ADA lawsuit. This is despite the fact that his threatened deadlines to file suit have passed for most of the demands I have seen. Every business has its own tolerance for risk so I’m not going to claim I know what you should do (although you can hire me – see email address at right). What I can say is that making your website accessible is a good idea because it is the right thing to do and helps your customers, not because of Mr. Collins’ letters, which seem intended only to put money in his pocket.
Many of the calls I receive are from businesses that tell me they have solved their accessibility problem with a plug-in or overlay. That makes it worth repeating that quick fix solutions like plugins, widgets and overlays will almost certainly not make your website accessible no matter what promises the various vendors make. Read the fine print and you’ll see that what the advertising promises the terms of service take away. If you want more details watch the video at:
¹ See my original blog at Same Old Wine
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - Hotels, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Internet, ADA Internet Web, FHA, Internet Accessibility Tags: ADA defense, ADA personal jurisdiction, FHA Defense, Legal Ethics Today, recovery homes, sober living, Uber Technologies, William Goren
Almost everyone who ever was, had or has a child probably knows Bowser, the character from many Nintendo games. In Mario Party he often offers “gifts” that don’t always (or ever) turn out to be something you might want. Recent developments in accessibility law are, as usual, a mixed bag. Here’s what I found underneath the tree. Bwahahahaha!
A shiny new article about the ethics of communication.
My partner, Jeanne Huey and I collaborated on an article about ABA Formal Opinion 500 that was published by the American Bar Association Litigation Section Professionalism and Ethics Committee, but is easiest to find at her blog, Legal Ethics Today. Communication with those who are disabled is a statutory obligation under the ADA for all businesses open to the public as well as the Fair Housing Act for housing providers. For lawyers it is an ethical obligation as well. More
By Richard Hunt in ADA, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Internet, ADA Mootness, FHA, Uncategorized Tags: ADA defense, ADA standing, ADA statute of limitations, ADA website, FHA Defense, serial litigation
It turns out that the story about Benjamin Franklin wanting the wild turkey to be the U.S. National Bird is a myth, I’m not willing to get into the politics of the annual pardoning of turkeys by the President, and I don’t have Wild Turkey in my liquor cabinet so here instead are the latest ADA and FHA decisions.
Another critical case on injury and standing, this time in the context of limitations.
In Karantsalis v. City of Miami Springs, Fla.,2021 WL 5279406 (11th Cir. Nov. 12, 2021) the Eleventh Circuit made a critical distinction between having a disability and being injured because of that disability that has implications beyond the immediate limitations issue. The question was when the plaintiff’s ADA claim against the City accrued. If it accrued when he first learned that he had multiple sclerosis in 2008 then his claims were barred by limitations. If it accrued when his symptoms progressed to the point that he could no longer use City facilities in 2019 then his lawsuit was timely. The Court found that despite having a disability the plaintiff had not been injured until his disability interfered with use of City services:
Karantsalis argues on the other hand that the district court incorrectly determined that his claims accrued in 2008. Instead, he contends that his claims did not accrue until he had suffered both (1) a disability, and (2) an injury (his inability to readily access and use the City’s services by reason of his disability). Under the ADA, Karantsalis was not injured (and therefore did not have standing) until after he was denied the benefits of the City’s public services.
As a statute of limitations case this decision is important for any municipality faced with ADA litigation over services like sidewalks that are in place for decades. It is equally important as part of the trend of recognizing that standing to sue requires a real, rather than a hypothetical injury. More
I received a call earlier today from one of the lawyers who sent demand letters on behalf of Pursuit of Respect.¹ It was a follow up to an email from August 2021, which was in turn a follow up to my response to a demand letter sent in June 2021. You can see they are not operating on a very tight schedule. In any case it prompted me to see how things were going with Pursuit of Respect since I have heard nothing of them since September¹. A quick look at Pacer.gov indicated that Pursuit of Respect has still never filed an ADA lawsuit. Jerome Ramsaran, the attorney who incorporated PoR has not filed an ADA lawsuit since 2019. The website of Pursuit of Respect, which claims to advocate for accessible websites, is not WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.
I did find it interesting that the same individuals who created Pursuit of Respect incorporated another non-profit, Advocacy for Equality, Inc., in December of 2020. I have not heard that demand letters are being sent in its name, but it would not surprise me if it is being used for that purpose. Please let me know if you have received a demand from either Pursuit of Respect or Advocacy of Equality in the last few months so I can share information.
¹ See “ADA Odds and Ends”
See my blog “Same old wine” for more information on this group.