Sued By Dominick Martin For Website ADA Violations?
By Catherine Corfee Esq.
Corfee Stone Law Corporation email@example.com www.corfeestonelaw.com
In California, we are well aware of serial disabled litigants who make a livelihood suing business in either state or federal court for alleged violations the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the California Unruh Act and Disabled Person’s Act. They are “professional plaintiffs” looking for “barriers” to file a lawsuit for greenbacks. These types of plaintiffs will sue if the door is a hair off 32” wide, or the slope is a slight percent over the maxim allowed per the ADA and/or CBC standards. For a while, these ADA access lawsuits were limited to buildings, i.e., brick and mortar facilities with a physical address. Now, the site and hearing-impaired plaintiffs are targeting websites and filing ADA lawsuits. They claim that the businesses’ website is not compatible with their computer software to access it like the able bodied. One such plaintiff is Dominick Martin, who resides in Orange County of Fresno County depending on the boilerplate complaint that you are served with. Either he reside in two places or that is a typo indicative of the many boilerplate complaints used by his law firm. Dominick Martin uses the same attorney in almost all his cases. He typically alleges that he is a blind individual who requires screen reading software to read website content and access the internet. Dominick Martin also generally alleges that the business maintained its website in such a way that the:
Website contained numerous access barriers preventing Plaintiff, and other blind and visually-impaired individuals, from gaining equal access to the Website. At all relevant times, Defendant’s denial of full and equal access to its website, and therefore its products and services offered thereby, were a violation of Plaintiff’s rights under the California Civil Rights Act.
Dominick Martin mostly sues in Los Angeles Superior Court, San Diego Superior Court, and Orange County Superior Court; however, he does not limit his ADA website lawsuits to just those counties. In state court, Dominick Martin must allege that he “intended” to use the goods/services. If the business sells products and/or services “on-line” only and does not have a physical location for patrons to go to, then the ADA/Unruh Act and DPA do not apply, as currently interpreted by the courts.
How to make your website ADA accessible:
Many website hosts need a plug in to make the website accessible. Two popular ADA plug ins are “accessiBe” at www.accessibe.com and/or “UserWay” at www.userway.com. Some hosts are not compatible so that may be a challenge. As of now, there are no DOJ guidelines for “private entities.” There are DOJ standards applicable to government entities which many website designers attempt to follow, such as the WCAG 2.1 or any latest version.
For legal advice or representation regarding disabled access issues and/or a lawsuit, please contact Ms. Catherine M. Corfee, Esq. – 916-487-5441 – firstname.lastname@example.org.
With zoom and computer technology, Ms. Corfee does not need a physical office at your location and can provide legal advice from anywhere in California.
**This article/blog is not intended to expressly their impliedly provide legal advice.