Domino’s Ruling Could Make Websites Susceptible to ADA Lawsuits

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that, since it is a place of public accommodations, Domino’s Pizza and its website are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide “auxiliary aids and services,” meaning its visual materials must be accessible to visually impaired customers through screen-reading software.

dominos-sued-for-ada-accessibility-on-its-websiteThis week the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up Domino’s challenge to the ruling, and thus a lawsuit by a blind customer can proceed.

The implications are huge for U.S. companies and their web presences. Domino’s predicted a win by the plaintiff would turn a “flood of litigation into a tsunami.” (In 2018, there were already more than 10,000 website ADA lawsuits filed.)

In its appeal to the Supreme Court, Domino’s had argued that the 1990 law predates the modern Internet era and thus does not apply to websites and apps.

“Each defendant must figure out how to make every image on its website or app sufficiently accessible to the blind, how to render every video or audio file sufficiently available to the deaf, or how to provide content to those who cannot operate a computer or mobile phone,” the pizza chain had argued. “Businesses and nonprofits must maintain that accessibility as their online content constantly changes and grows through links to other content.”

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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