Can the 11th Circuit hold back the tide as King Cnut famously failed to do?² In Laufer v. Arpan LLC, 2022 WL 906511 (11th Cir. Mar. 29, 2022) the 11th Circuit disagreed with the Fifth, Tenth and Second Circuits concerning the injury sufficient to satisfy the standing requirements in Article III of the Constitution. If the case goes to the Supreme Court the 11th Circuit is likely to get its feet wet on Article III standing, but of more interest is the Court’s failure to consider whether the plaintiff had even suffered a statutory injury; that is, did she suffer the kind of injury Title III of the ADA was intended to prevent? If there was no statutory injury then the question of constitutional injury never arises. More
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - Hotels, ADA - Standing, FHA, FHA definition of handicap, FHA Emotional Support Animals, HOA, Uncategorized Tags: ADA defense, Emotional Support Animal, FHA Defense, serial litigation
Pictures of bombed out buildings and civilian casualty counts are a reminder that aggravating and expensive as ADA and FHA lawsuits can be, taking these disputes to court is a luxury most people in the world do not enjoy. For those of us who can engage in a civilized discussion of legal issues, here are the latest cases and other news. You’ll see where I think the courts and administration have gone wrong, but I’d rather be here than most of places in the news these days.
HUD and DOJ pushing hard on ESA cases.
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - drive-by litigation, ADA - serial litigation, ADA - Standing, FHA, Uncategorized Tags: ADA defense, ADA intent to return, ADA Mootness, ADA standing, ADA website nexus, FHA Defense, unruh act, website accessibility
The last six weeks have seen some important or at least interesting decisions under the Fair Housing Act and Title III of the ADA. If there is any common thread, it is that courts in general seem increasingly reluctant to give serial plaintiffs the benefit of the doubt on dubious pleadings while some judges continue to treat private enforcement as a legitimate means to advance the policy goals of these statutes. This is part 1 of a 2 part blog, so stay tuned . . . More
I’m the last of the ADA bloggers to discuss Laufer v Looper, 21-1031, 2022 WL 39072, at *6 (10th Cir. Jan. 5, 2022) but reading the analysis by Bill Goren (Is Tester Standing a Thing When it Comes to Title III of the ADA) and Seyfarth Shaw (A Status Update on Hotel Reservations Website Lawsuits) has given me some perspective on what the decision means for tester standing in ADA and FHA cases. I think the discussion of tester standing in Laufer v. Looper exposes the fatal flaw in all tester standing cases; that is, testers never suffer the kind of injury that is now required by the Supreme Court to meet the requirements of Article III. Like Yorick, a fellow of infinite jest who bore young Hamlet a thousand times, tester standing should be dead (5).
By Richard Hunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, ADA - serial litigation, ADA Internet Web, ADA Website Accessibility, FHA Tags: ADA defense, Denaryle Williams, FHA Defense, Pursuit of Justice, Pursuit of Respect, Transunion v Ramirez, Winn-Dixie
Janus, the Roman god who gave his name to January, famously had two faces, one looking to the future and the other looking back. I’m a little late for the New Years predictions and 2021 wasn’t all that much fun, but as long as we are still in Janus’ month I thought I would briefly provide some observations about what the old man in the beard has seen and what his younger counterpart is likely to see.
There were important decisions about standing from the Fifth Circuit¹ and the Supreme Court² but neither seems to have slowed the pace of ADA filings. A brand new ruling from the 10th Circuit that agrees with the Fifth Circuit that testers do not have standing as such(7) probably won’t have any effect either. This is because ADA lawsuits are filed to be settled, and the cost of settlement is ordinarily lower than the cost of even the cheapest effective defense. I believe the settlement value of ADA website cases has declined because they have always cost more to settle than run-of-the mill drive-by cases, but they are likely to still have a good ROI for plaintiffs’ firms and as long as the business is profitable it will continue. More