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Web accessibility lawsuits surge, setting new record

February 20, 2023
ADA-related claims that reached the Federal court in 2022 have risen by 12 percent compared to 2021, a new Seyfarth Synopsis report showed.
In total, 3,255 lawsuits were filed against businesses on the basis of ADA Title III for allegedly not providing accessible websites for individuals with disabilities, setting an all-time high record.

As emphasized previously, ADA-related claims have exploded in recent years, and bar a slowdown prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the upward trend has not stopped since 2017.

Since 2017, Seyfarth Synopsis has recorded a 177 percent increase in Title III website accessibility lawsuits.

It should also be noted that most claims are preceded with demand letters that settle outside the courts, anywhere between the range of $7,000 to $30,000, according to various estimates. Hence, the actual number of ADA claims throughout the nation is significantly higher that the official number.

The report further stipulated that the ADA Title III lawsuits related to website accessibility violations consist of 37 percent of the total ADA Title III lawsuits filed, versus only 25 percent from the previous year.

Although California used to be the state with the highest number of ADA claims in the past, the state of New York recorded a total of 2,560 lawsuits, leaving other states far behind—Florida coming in second with 310 suits, Pennsylvania with 216 suits, and California fourth with 126.

The reason for the major gap between New York and California, according to the report, is likely to do with New York courts that have ruled that ADA laws do apply to online-restricted businesses, resulting in favorable rulings toward plaintiffs. In contrast, California courts at the state and federal levels have struck down the appeal that online-restricted businesses are subject to ADA laws.

However, California also has the Unruh accessibility-related legislation, and many related lawsuits are filed at the state level without registering as ADA claims.

To find out if web accessibility laws apply to your business and location, click here for more information.

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