Organizations with $33 Billion in annual revenue were sued over accessibility in one week last month
2020 accessibility lawsuits are on track to be close to 50 % higher than either 2018 or 2019. This article reviews a single week’s worth of those lawsuits.
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PACER is the go-to tool for lawyers wanting information about the status of and filings for particular lawsuits. But PACER is wicked expensive, especially if you are interested in it for trends/research and aren’t specifically looking at the data for litigation purposes.
I’ve been very fortunate that Jason Taylor from UsableNet, a provider of accessibility technology and services, collects data from PACER to help inform UsableNet’s future services and clients on ensuring digital inclusiveness and avoid legal actions. You can read UsableNet’s mid-2020 accessibility litigation update here.
I discussed the number of accessibility lawsuits being even higher than the last two years, despite court closures due to COVID with Jason on LinkedIn. Then, I asked him to provide me with access to one week’s worth of cases (it happens to be the week of Sept 21, 2020) to see if I could analyze them in a way that informs people and lead them to positive accessibility action. Of course, this approach presumes that the organizations that are not yet accessible are long past the “it’s the right thing to do” argument, or they would have become accessible already.
Total number of lawsuits filed in one week: at least 82
Annualized, this works out to about 4000 per year. Some weeks are over 100 at this point. Why so high? Right now, litigators are playing catch-up from when the courts were shut down last spring and only hearing emergency cases.