This post marks our first official legal analytics summary where we crunch the numbers and run down all of the major data from ADA web accessibility lawsuits. Here we summarize what happened in October 2020 – you can also watch the replay of our webinar.
Important note: We make every effort to provide a comprehensive summary, but this should not be considered an exhaustive list.
Number of lawsuits filed: 92*
*We were able to access and analyze the data from 92 lawsuits. We estimate 25 more were filed.
Websites vs. Apps
Lawsuits citing websites: 85
Lawsuits citing mobile apps: 6
Lawsuits citing websites + mobile apps: 1
Class Action lawsuits: 72
Top Targets (Industries)
- Clothing & retail: 29.2%
- Food & beverage: 21.3%
- Consumer electronics & home goods: 15.21%
- Education: 7.8%
- Cosmetics: 6.5%
The Hot Seat
Potato chip companies were a top target in October, with four brands receiving lawsuits.
Emerging ADA Website Lawsuit Trends
Missing Accessibility Notice
A number of lawsuits referenced a plaintiff’s unsuccessful attempts to locate an “Accessibility Notice” on the defendant’s computer website, noting that there was no contact information provided for disabled individuals to use for questions, concerns, or to obtain assistance with communications.
How to Protect Your Business: An Accessibility Notice is related but slightly different from an Accessibility Statement page. Whether you post a notice, statement, or both, the key is that you have a page that addresses accessibility and provides a means of contacting support if anyone needs assistance using your website. Get advice for writing an effective accessibility statement here.
Another important observation was a handful of lawsuits cited trespass. The basic allegation was that plaintiffs were unable to effectively communicate with and fully view the defendant’s website and, as such, plaintiffs were unable to learn about tracking cookies placed on their browser / computer.
How to Protect your Business: Trespass here is an alleged result of website inaccessibility. Again, the key is to make sure your website and pages that address legal rights such as privacy are fully accessible.
Most Common Claims (websites)
- Missing alt text
- Missing labels
- Empty links
- Redundant links
- Missing page titles
Most Common Claims (Apps)
- Apps not compatible with screen reader technology
- Missing alt text
- Missing navigation links
Get a comprehensive overview of October website lawsuit trends, plus actionable advice for protecting your business in episode 2 of our Web Accessibility and the Law series. Watch now. Also, subscribe to our blog and register for future webinars to get access to all of our monthly data.
Prevent your business from being on the receiving end of an accessibility lawsuit – connect with us for a free demo of our comprehensive Accessibility-as-a-Service platform. We’ll show you how easy it can be to maintain WCAG conformance and ensure all customers can engage equally with your digital assets.