March 25, 2016
Coming into effect in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life — including commercial websites. In 2015, Edward Davis, a California blind man, sued Colorado Bag’n Baggage on the basis he couldn’t shop online for the retailer’s products because the website lacked features to accommodate people with disabilities.
In The Wall Street Journal article “Court Orders Company to Make Website Accessible to the Blind,” attorney Crystal N. Skelton who counsels clients in complying with disability law said, “Companies can expect these lawsuits to continue.” She added, “If you aren’t sure whether the ADA applies to your site or whether it’s accessible to the blind, now may be the time to find out.” In a separate article co-authored with Partner Gonzalo E. Mon, they address the summary judgment for the website accessibility case granted by the California court.
After providing sufficient evidence that Mr. Davis was denied full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, privileges and accommodations offered on the site, Judge Bryan Foster ordered the retailer to make changes to its website and cover the court and attorneys’ fees of the defendant.
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