Category Archives: Online Business

Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the company’s business is, however, the very thing at issue in a series of lawsuits brought against Uber under the ADA. In lawsuits filed in Arizona, California, and Texas, individuals and disability rights organizations have accused Uber of failing to comply with ADA requirements of offering accommodations for the disabled (including individuals who are visually and mobility impaired) in providing …


Does Your Business Have a Website? Get Ready for New ADA Regulations

Courts have wrestled for several years with how to apply the ADA’s public accommodation requirements to online businesses or online aspects of businesses (USA Today published an article and quoted me on the issue available at the link below). The statute itself (enacted in 1990) does not address online businesses, nor do current regulations. Litigation in this area has also produced divergent results. In some cases, federal courts have dismissed such claims holding that online stores and websites are not public accommodations within the meaning of Title III of the ADA. In others, courts have held that commercial websites are …


Could Your Banking Website Be The Target of a Lawsuit?

Recently, I was interviewed by for an article on the ADA and website accessibility standards for the deaf and blind (full article here). Websites are becoming the next frontier in ADA litigation as courts have ruled that it also applies to a company’s website and have held companies liable for difficulties disabled customers experience online. Taking proactive steps to review and modify your company’s website will save you from the price of ADA non-compliance and costly litigation.  

Netflix Settles Massachusetts ADA Lawsuit: What It Means for Online Businesses

If you follow this blog you know that we’ve spent a fair amount of ink covering the recent ADA lawsuits brought against Netflix.  These cases (one brought in Massachusetts federal court and another in California federal court) allege that the company violated the ADA by failing to offer “closed captioning” options for all its Internet streamed movies.  The results have been a split decision for Netflix.  The Massachusetts court held (without deciding liability) that Netflix Internet-streamed movies constituted a public accommodation that must comply with the requirements of the ADA.  The California court reached the opposite conclusion and dismissed that …


Netflix Part Deux: California Federal Court Rules that Netflix is Not a Public Accommodation

Recently I wrote about a decision from the federal district court in Massachusetts which held that the ADA applied to Netflix’s Internet-streamed movies. That decision (which is now subject to a petition for appeal) would have required the company to ensure that all of its “on demand” movies had closed captioning to accommodate customers with hearing-related disabilities. Recently, another federal court—this time in California—ruled in favor of Netflix dismissing a claim that the company violated the ADA by failing to provide closed captioning for every movie in its “streaming video library.” Unlike the District of Massachusetts, which held that the ADA’s …


Federal Court Holds ADA Applies to Netflix’s Internet-Streamed Movies

On June 19, 2012, the federal District Court of Massachusetts became the first federal court to hold that the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) accessibility requirements apply to website-only businesses.  The National Association of the Deaf filed this lawsuit claiming that Netflix violated the ADA by failing to offer closed captioning for all of its Internet streamed movies.  The company filed a motion seeking judgment on this claim, arguing that the ADA’s requirements for “public accommodations” apply only to physical structures.  Rejecting this argument and allowing the claim to move forward, the Court held that limiting the ADA’s reach to …