Driven in large part by an exponential increase in legal actions over website accessibility, federal courts in 2018 entertained more than 10,000 lawsuits based on alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

ADA-lawsuits-soarAccording to tabulations by the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, 2018 saw a record high of 10,163 federal ADA lawsuits, up 34 percent from 2017 when there were only 7,663 such cases. When the firm began tracking such lawsuits in 2013, the number was a mere 2,722.

Last year’s increase was accelerated by the number of website accessibility lawsuits, which ramped up to 2,258 from 814 in 2017 — an increase of 177 percent.

A handful of lawyers in New York led the charge as the Empire State businesses were socked with 1,564 accessibility lawsuits, almost tripling second-place Florida’s 576 filings.

In a huge surprise, California — which routinely leads the nation in ADA lawsuits — was hit with only 10 filings in 2018. This number, however, encompasses only federal cases, and it looks as if Golden State lawyers shifted their focus to state courts, according to Seyfarth Shaw.

California clearly led the pack in 2018 federal ADA filings overall with 2,751, followed by Florida at 1,488 and New York at 1,023.