ADA Title III Website Accessibility Lawsuits On The Rise

Burr & Forman

Burr & Forman

The number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed against businesses nationwide continues to increase. In 2020 alone, approximately 11,000 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in federal courts.

While ADA Title III lawsuits have traditionally focused on physical accessibility elements (handicap parking, restroom accessibility, etc.), websites are now a prime target for accessibility claims. ADA Title III website accessibility claims are typically brought by individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities who allege they are unable to use a business’s website due to incompatibility with screen reader software or other accessibility issues. The number of website accessibility lawsuits has increased over 200% since 2017. In 2020 alone, over 2,000 lawsuits were filed against businesses alleging ADA Title III violations related to website accessibility. The number of these claims is expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.

The number of lawsuits filed does not reflect the prevalence of these claims outside the courts. Many ADA Title III claims begin as demand letters to businesses that are settled before a lawsuit is ever filed. Thus, it is not possible to know the total number of these claims, but one thing is clear—they are on the rise and do not appear to be going away anytime soon.

Attorneys expect the number of ADA Title III website accessibility lawsuits to continue increasing until there is a substantial change in the law. Businesses of all sizes should make an effort to continually audit their websites for accessibility issues and ensure compliance with applicable requirements. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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