Latest Developments In Robles V. Domino’s—A Crucial ADA Website Accessibility Case With Broad Implications

Cole Schotz

Cole SchotzIn an update with respect to perhaps one of the most important and far-reaching appellate decisions on website accessibility cases filed by legally blind or visually impaired plaintiffs pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Domino’s Pizza, less than two months ago, filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, asking the nation’s High Court to review and reverse the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case of  Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, Case No. 17-5504.

In Robles, the trial court had dismissed the plaintiff’s claim that Domino’s had failed to construct, design, maintain and operate both its website as well as its mobile application so that he, as a blind man, could fully access that website and application.  The trial court, relying upon the failure of the United States Department of Justice to promulgate regulations and provide any meaningful guidance with respect to the issue, concluded that application of the ADA to Domino’s mobile application and website violated due process rights of the company.  The Ninth Circuit, however, reversed, holding that there was no violation of due process rights and remanded the case back to the trial court to determine whether Domino’s mobile application or website complied with the ADA.

In its 35-page petition for certiorari, filed on June 13, 2019, Domino’s presented the question for the Supreme Court’s determination as follows:  “Whether Title III of the ADA requires a website or mobile phone application that offers goods or services to the public to satisfy discrete accessibility requirements with respect to individuals with disabilities?”

With the number of ADA website accessibility cases continuing to sharply rise—some might use the term explode—particularly in states like Florida and New York, and no decision yet from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Gil v. Winn Dixie, the only known ADA website accessibility case to actually go to trial, if the United States Supreme Court accepts review of the Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, perhaps clarity can finally be brought to the issue of the application of the ADA to websites.  The Supreme Court, however, is not required to accept review of the case although it will generally make its decision on whether to do so fairly quickly.

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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Cole Schotz

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