Can a website accessibility lawsuit violate a person’s first amendment rights of free speech? This is a question that has been intriguing me as the Courts have been increasingly generous in allowing these lawsuits to go forward. The lawsuits have been extremely unfair, even devastating for some defendants because there are no laws or regulations that create objective standards of accessibility compliance for websites. Continue reading
It has not been a good summer for stemming the tide of shake-down lawsuits filed under the banner of the ADA. Courts.
On April 24, 2019, the District Attorney of Riverside County filed a civil lawsuit, People of the State of California v. James Rutherford, et al., Case No. RIC 1902577. Continue reading
The Riverside District Attorney’s Office has taken a momentous step in curbing abusive ADA litigation. On April 24, 2019, The DA’s office filed a lawsuit against Craig Gerald Cote, 67, of Huntington Beach, Babak Hashemi, 40, Joseph Richard Manning, 50, Michael John Manning, 43, and James Rutherford, 66. All of the forgoing but Rutherford are attorneys. Continue reading
I often get the question: “Can I sue them back”? People who are sued by ADA plaintiffs know in their hearts that many, if not most, of the ADA lawsuits are essentially extortive, and did not involve a real disabled customer having difficulty with access. They know they are being sued by a “professional” or “serial” plaintiff (as many have called them) or “high-frequency litigant” as state law now officially deems plaintiffs with 10 or more lawsuits in a year. Several ADA plaintiffs easily surpass that threshold with several dozen lawsuits per year, and hundreds over several years.
A recent article noted that 75 New York City art galleries got sued for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held, despite the absence of government regulations or standards for private websites, a website owner could be sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Continue reading
Published originally at oscodelaw.com as: Are Your Websites at Risk for an ADA Lawsuit?
Enacted in 1990, and amended multiple times since, the The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equal access for people with a wide range of disabilities. Title III of the ADA applies to “public accommodations,” which essentially means businesses that are open to the public must provide equal access to persons with disabilities. Continue reading
Assembly Bill 1521 was signed into law on Oct. 10, 2015. It attempts to curb disabled access lawsuit abuse, in particular by “frequent filers.” Like its predecessors, Senate Bill 1608 in 2008 and Senate Bill 1186 in 2012, AB 1521 does not prevent lawsuits by plaintiff’s suing for theoretical “barriers” to obtain the easy money provided under California’s Unruh Act. Rather, the new law amendment – actually an amendment of existing law – like its predecessors provides incremental relief. There still is no requirement to provide notice and an opportunity to remove an access barrier before suing. For decades, a notice and cure provision has been the amendment most sought by the business community. On the other hand, the new law provides some of the most extensive relief yet to defendants and potential defendants (all public accommodations, especially those in buildings built before 1992). Continue reading