A Big Win for Accessibility Advocates in Domino’s Decision

October 7, 2019 BY ELISA EDELBERG
Updated: October 9, 2019

After a long and tedious journey, the accessibility community is celebrating a victory today! The Supreme Court announced its decision to deny a petition from pizza giant Domino’s to hear whether its website is required to be accessible to the disabled. The decision to deny this petition means that the previous decision made by a lower court against Domino’s, and in support of web accessibility will be left in place.

The Journey

spaceship iconFor those of you who might need a refresher, this all dates back to September 2016. Guillermo Robles, a blind man, filed a federal lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza after not being able to complete his order of a customized pizza due to the app’s lack of accessibility.

The original ruling was that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) didn’t apply to the web. However, several years later on January 15, 2019, this finding was reversed by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The panel concluded that the company’s website and mobile app are critical avenues for the public to order online and find a nearby Domino’s restaurant. They noted that the “alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises—which are places of public accommodation.”

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Victory Takeaways

Today’s decision from the justices to not hear the case is a big win and sets a great precedent for future web accessibility cases. The justices argued that if businesses do not have to maintain accessible sites, individuals with disabilities could be shut out from a large part of our economy. This lawsuit is one of many website accessibility lawsuits filed in the last several years. The number of cases filed increased from 814 in 2017 to 2,285 in 2018. All these cases were brought forth under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Learn more about the trends in web accessibility lawsuits, and how organizations can learn from rulings in these lawsuits to ensure their websites are accessible.

 
This blog post is written for educational and general information purposes only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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