Although you might think that the only companies that get sued are the ones with deep pockets, this is not the case. Although many large companies in Florida have been sued for Americans with Disabilities Act violations, claiming the website is not ADA-compliant or accessible, smaller businesses can also be sued. We are aware of at least one Florida small business that was sued for one of these ADA website lawsuits, and it almost forced the company to go out of business. That is why it is crucial to take this threat seriously and take action now to fix your website before you get sued.
What do the following Florida businesses have in common?
As a result of a recent South Florida verdict in one of these ADA website accessibility lawsuits, lawyers are encouraged to bring more lawsuits, and employers are feeling forced to choose between expensive litigation in federal court or settling these lawsuits by paying money to the lawyers who sued them, and also spending money to “fix” their website to make it ADA accessible.
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They have all recently been sued in federal court for the Southern District of Florida for operating websites that allegedly violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.
We have previously reported in two articles how this type of ADA website accessibility lawsuit is the new hot trend sweeping Florida in disability discrimination law in Florida.
Unfortunately Florida is leading the country in this type of ADA website litigation. The following chart reflects the ADA website accessibility lawsuits across the country in August 2017.
Lawyers who sue Florida businesses that are places of public accommodation appear to be driven by the desire to obtain attorneys’ fees as well as forcing businesses to incur significant expenses to change their websites to make them conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria (“WCAG 2.0 AA”) in such a manner so that the website will be accessible to blind people or people with vision impairments.
Our law firm has been advising Florida businesses to get ahead of these lawsuits because it is significantly less expensive to begin making changes to your company website now. Once a disability lawyer sees that your website is not ADA compliant, they do not even have to send you a letter demanding settlement. They can immediately file a lawsuit in federal court, which begins strict deadlines. These short deadlines immediately backs business-owners up against a wall and puts tremendous pressure on the company executives. There is often a rush to find an experienced disability law firm in Florida to help defend your company against this lawsuit and navigate through the system, even if you desire a settlement.
If you need any assistance in handling website accessibility matters or issues dealing with the ADA concerning your Florida business, please promptly email or call the Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. at 1-772-465-5111.
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