Websites Hit with Demand Letters on Accessibility Issues Despite Courts' Rejection of Claim

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In recent weeks, numerous businesses have received letters asserting that their websites are not accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Act. These letters threaten litigation and warn of large penalty claims under the Unruh Act. What these letters do not report is that California courts have repeatedly rejected claims that the ADA and Unruh require accessible websites, including a recent dismissal order from Judge David Carter of the Central District of California.

In Jancik v. Redbox, plaintiff claimed that Redbox Digital’s online streaming video service violated the law by not being accessible to deaf consumers. The court rejected the claim, finding that “Redbox Digital’s website, which offers Redbox Instant, is not a ‘place of public accommodation.’ (Jancik, Slip Op. at p. 11.) The court followed up by holding that Jancik’s Unruh Act claims cannot proceed separately from his ADA claim. (Id. at p. 12.) This decision followed an earlier decision in Cullen v. Netflix dismissing ADA and Unruh Act claims on identical grounds.

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