ADA website lawsuits are on the rise against businesses of every size

ADA website lawsuits are on the rise against businesses of every size

Anyone with a website or a business app should take the time to read this article because this probably will be quite enlightening. I will be diverting from writing on real estate to discuss a new emerging trend from law firms and “civil rights organizations” exploiting businesses against a little-known government requirement for business websites and apps to follow ADA digital standards for the impaired.

I personally received one of these demand letters from a local law firm asking for $7000 plus to make my website compliant in a “confidential settlement” before they litigate the issue in court. You got that?  They will settle for $7000 before taking me to court.  Does anyone else feel that this is extortion besides me? 

After I got past thinking this was a scam, I forwarded it to my own attorney to determine its validity. Surprisingly, he had to research this concept of websites needing to be ADA compliant because he also had never heard of this before.  To his and my surprise, this is now a rapidly growing trend nationwide to make a fast buck in disguise of championing Americans with Disabilities. 

However, most businesses are unaware of the need for their websites and apps to be ADA compliant. I certainly wasn’t. Perhaps if they were made aware and given an opportunity to rectify it, then you could say that these organizations are truly interested in the accessibility of these websites for disabled Americans, instead they have lawyers sending demand letters anywhere from $5000-$23,000 without giving the business a grace period to become compliant.

Highest Business Targets of 2023:

E-commerce is in the top place, with 84% of lawsuits. These include mostly small private businesses, selling their goods over the internet. Since “UsableNet” began tracking digital accessibility lawsuits in 2018, e-commerce businesses have received more suits than other industries. At midyear last year, e-commerce companies had 79% of digital accessibility lawsuits. In second place is Food Service. The increase in lawsuits in Florida may have contributed to the food service as the number two most targeted industry because lawsuits in Florida are against the food service at a higher rate (33%) than in the rest of the country (7%).

In the first half of 2023, smaller companies with annual revenue equal to less than $25 million experienced an increase in lawsuits, accounting for 77% of the cases. This figure is slightly higher than the 73% of lawsuits recorded in 2022, emphasizing the significance of digital accessibility compliance for businesses of all sizes.

Take proactive measures to make sure you are not targeted- Learn more about this issue at:

www.ADA.gov for more information. Also, there are numerous websites that offer free scanning of your business website to check compliancy, such as: www.accessibilitychecker.org among many others which will give you a score of compliance as well as a detailed report on where there are deficiencies and how to correct them.  If your score is under 85%, you are vulnerable and fall out of compliancy that can lead to an ADA non-compliance lawsuit.  If you have a business, perform the scan as soon as possible.  If you know people with a business, pass this information on to them.  I’m sure they will thank you for it.

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  • Posted 9 months ago

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