Plaintiffs continue to file website accessibility lawsuits at a rapid pace, but two recent decisions in New York federal court may reduce certain types of filings in that forum.[1] In these cases, both out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the courts held that websites are not “places of public of accommodation” covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and on that basis, granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss. The decisions cited a recent case from the Eleventh Circuit,[2] but more notably, disagreed with prior New York district court decisions that applied the ADA to websites even when those websites were not paired with a physical location (e.g., a brick-and-mortar store).[3] As we have highlighted, courts across the country have applied varying standards regarding whether the ADA applies to such standalone websites. Certain courts, most notably the Ninth Circuit,[4] require a physical nexus between the website and a physical retail location to invoke the ADA. To be sure, some jurisdictions still favor plaintiffs on this issue, but these two decisions could limit filings in district courts within the Second Circuit and may potentially signal broader changes regarding ADA website litigation.
Continue Reading Recent New York Federal Court Decisions Hold that the ADA Does Not Cover Websites