Accessibility Defense

Latest from Accessibility Defense

Lady McBeth notoriously had a problem with some blood she needed to get rid of. It wasn’t a lot, but suppose she wanted to unload a pint of plasma at her local donation center. Would she be going to a service establishment subject to the ADA, or would this be some other kind of commercial transaction? That question is the subject of a recent DOJ Statement of interest that I’ll discuss in a minute. First though let’s take a look at buying and selling things in general. At my local Kroger store two different kinds of trades take place every…
Early last month the Department of Justice filed a “Statement of Interest” in Migyanko v. Aimbridge Hospitality LLC¹ that should give pause to every business subject to Title III of the ADA; that is, every business.  Two sentences from the Statement of Interest are of particular concern: “The ADA Standards do not address every aspect of physical accessibility.” and “Of course, in the absence of specific requirements for bed height, hotels have some degree of flexibility in making reasonable modifications to provide usable beds for a person with a disability.  This flexible standard is inherently fact-specific.” To understand why these innocuous…
Serial litigators file lots of cases and that means lots of decisions, sometimes coming in batches. I’ve omitted a few decisions that say nothing more than the cases I have reviewed just to keep this blog manageable. If there is a theme, it is simply that despite very clear trends toward limiting serial litigation by paying more attention to standing, the outcome of any given case depends very much on the judge because there is still relatively little Circuit court guidance on some issues. Like Delacroix’s inspirational painting of Liberty Leading the People, celebrations of freedom from abusive ADA and…
Almost every claim brought under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act raises standing issues because, in almost every case, the lawsuit is the result of a plaintiff, usually sponsored by a law firm, seeking out an ADA violation in order to make money off a quick settlement.¹ The Supreme Court’s June 25, 2021 decision in Transunion LLC v. Ramirez, No. 20-297 (June 24, 2021) will significantly limit, but probably not eliminate modern industrial scale ADA litigation. In cases involving physical barriers to access most courts agree that a plaintiff who confronts a physical barrier to access has suffered a…
Once again – as in past Memorial Day editions – I’m firing up the grill with hundred dollar bills in honor of the money wasted on lawyers, who are the only ones who really benefit from most ADA and FHA litigation. There are, however, some cases dealing addressing important substantive issues, and few in which Courts seem ready to turn the ADA and FHA into laws to help people instead of laws to make lawyers rich. Homeowners Associations and the FHA As a purely legal matter, HOA Boards and their managers should take note of McGrath v. Dunecrest Condominium Ass’n,…
Three cases in the last thirty days look at ADA standing and reach different conclusions about what the Constitution and the ADA require. For victims of serial litigation and for courts interested in the coherent application of the text of the ADA and similar statutes these are crucial cases.² Standing on air in the Seventh Circuit. In Laufer v. T & C Inn, LLC, 2021 WL 1759263, at *4 (C.D. Ill. May 4, 2021) the District Court adopted a view of standing that is very similar to that in the Ninth and other circuits. Under this standing theory a disabled…
I apologize for not having posted a new blog for several weeks, but I have been busy on other projects, including the video posted at Industry experts explain what digital accessibility awareness means to them for Usablenet’s celebration of Global Accessibility of Awareness Day. All the videos are worthwhile, but if you don’t have time to listen, my comments in a nutshell are simple. A business is aware of digital accessibility if it understands that those with disabilities can an do use digital resources like websites and mobile applications, that accessibility gives businesses access to and a competitive advantage in…
On October 7-8 I’ll be joining Jason Taylor of Usablenet and Jeremy Horlick of ADA Site Compliance at American University’s Digital Accessibility Legal Summit in a panel discussion of accessibility overlays, widgets and plug-ins titled “The Great Accessibility Overlays Battle.” You can find the complete program at www.accessibility.legal. As you know, the use of widgets and overlays has generated some controversy, with makers of this software claiming they can create an accessible website and every credible consultant claiming they cannot. You can read my blogs about his subject at Is there a silver bullet for ADA website accessibility? Sorry,
I had forgotten that this classic song was from Loggins & Messina until I looked it up after getting an old demand letter packaged by a new firm. I have blogged before about Legal Justice Advocates, a front for a group of attorneys who sent hundreds of demand letters making unsustainable claims about website accessibility under the Fair Housing Act.¹ Their business was taken over by the Portell Law Group² when the original members of LJA dropped out of sight and one of them was disbarred. Now another member of the group, Jerome Ramsaran, has created a new supposed disability…
On April 7 the Eleventh Circuit issued what is likely to be among the most important ADA decisions in the last twenty years. (6) In Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.,  2021 WL 1289906 (11th Cir. Apr. 7, 2021) the Eleventh Circuit not only rejected the idea that Title III of the ADA covers websites as public accommodations, it also adopted a very limited view of the circumstances in which websites would be required to be accessible even when associated with a physical place of business. The impact on regional businesses in the Eleventh Circuit will be immediate – almost all ADA…