The Legal Landscape of Website Accessibility ADA Claims

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In 2017, Juan Carlos Gil, who is legally blind, filed a civil action against Winn-Dixie Stores seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for Winn-Dixie’s alleged failure to maintain a website accessible to visually impaired customers in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The district court denied Winn-Dixie’s motion for judgment on the pleadings because the website was “heavily integrated with” and “operates as a gateway to” Winn-Dixie’s physical store. Therefore, Mr. Gil could not use the website and was denied equal access to the services, privileges, and advantages of Winn-Dixie’s physical stores in violation of the ADA. The district court did not decide whether the website itself is a public accommodation. The district court held, however, that because Mr. Gil showed a sufficient “nexus” between the website and physical locations (known as the “nexus” standard), Winn-Dixie’s motion for judgment on the pleadings must be denied…

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