They’re calling it “Legal Extortion” and chances are excellent that your website doesn’t meet the necessary ADA compliance criteria.
And the most difficult pill to swallow is that they have a very real legal leg to stand on when they target your business and demand settlement money, often in the form of a check – checks that sometime reach as high as $75,000.
In 2019 alone, there were 2,285 ADA non-compliance lawsuits filed throughout the nation, and the majority of those lawsuits were filed in Florida and New York.
And the primary complaint from these plaintiffs is that they couldn’t navigate the website using a screen reader.
The genesis of an ADA compliance lawsuit
Typically, an ADA compliance lawsuit is filed towards a single website, by a lawyer on behalf of a client.
In the majority of cases, the lawsuit will indicate some inability to access parts of the website – be it captions on videos, keyboard accessibility or missing descriptions on hyperlinks.
The judges in these cases will require that the plaintiff demonstrate some sort of “harm”, where they were unable to carry out some basic function of the website, I.E. purchase an item, follow a link, or read an article.
What you can expect when you receive an ADA compliance lawsuit
In some cases the defendant’s are telling their clients, “You can’t fight this – there’s nothing you can do, just write the check”.
In others the defendant hires legal counsel and enter into negotiations, the majority of which end up settled out of court.
What can I do to avoid these lawsuits?
In the short term, you’ll want to create a plan to upgrade your website to ADA standards within 60 days.
Identify what your website lacks in terms of accessibility using this online tool:
ADA Compliance Checker.
This tool will evaluate, catalog and display your website’s ADA shortcomings, and specifically show you the website code that should be adjust in order to make it ADA compliant.
And then what?
Give us a ring here at JPMicro: 850-470-8496. We specialize in building ADA compliant websites (Not to mention business websites in general!) and upgrading older websites in order to become ADA compliant.