Below is a full-text description of our midyear report to help all users:
Tile 1: 2022 MID YEAR REPORT ADA DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY LAWSUITS - Websites, Mobile, and Video
The text reads: The UsableNet research team monitors and documents all digital accessibility-related lawsuits where a website, mobile app, or video content is the subject of a claim in federal court under the ADA or in California state court under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The data from this report includes only filed lawsuits in court records and does not account for claim letters sent directly to companies.
The following report outlines trends found as of midyear 2022. Data and images can be shared when referencing UsableNet as a source and linking to www.usablenet.com.
Tile 2: DIGITAL LAWSUITS ON TRACK FOR RECORD
Text Reads: Almost 100 lawsuits per week
The data predicts another year of growth for ADA-based digital lawsuits. Our numbers include cases filed in federal court and those filed in California under the Unruh Act with a direct reference to violations of the ADA.
Image shows the number of cases growing each year from 2018 to the middle of the year in 2022. The numbers are as follows: 2018: 2314; 2019: 2890; 2020: 3503; 2021: 4011; 2022: 4455 Estimated by the end of the year.
Tile 3: THE DOJ Effect in 2022
The text reads: The DOJ restated a guidance in March 2022 but failed to give businesses clarity. The guidance seems to have encouraged plaintiffs rather than offered hope of relief for businesses.
Image Description: Jan had 75 cases filed in California, 170 in New York and 10 in Florida. Feb had 69 in California; 208 in New York and 13 cases filed in Florida. March had 119 cases in California, 327 in New York, and 22 in Florida. April had 79 cases in California, 129 in New York, and 17 in Florida. May had 87 cases in California, 311 in New York and 48 in Florida. June had 80 cases in California, 266 in New York, and 36 cases in Florida.
The text reads: Lawsuits in Florida surged after the DOJ issues its March guidance, growing from only 45 cases in the first quarter to more than 100 in the second quarter of 2022.
Tile 4: LEADING ADA LAW FIRMS
Text reads: The top 10 plaintiff law firms account for 80% of all filed cases. In contrast, the top ten defense law firms represent less than 15% of cases.
Image shows a list in two columns. At the top of the column for defendant lawyers is reads, “Defendant Lawyers ‘We will defend you, but you should be accessible.’” At the top of the column for plaintiff lawyers, it reads, “ Plaintiff Lawyers ‘We will sue you if you do not provide an accessible website.’”
The top ten defense attorneys are 1 Dentons US LLP; 2 Stein & Nieporent LLP; 3 Jackson Lewis P.C.; 4 Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP; 5 Seyfarth Shaw LLP; 6 O'Hagan Meyer LLC; 7 Morgan, Lewis, Bockius LLP; 8 Deyuan Lin; 9 Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP; 10 Fox Rothschild LLP.
An asterisk by Stein & Nieporent LLP, Deyuan Lin, and Fox Rothschild LLP shows they are new to the top 10.
Image shows the top ten plaintiff lawyers are: 1 Mizrahi Kroub LLP; 2 Stein Saks, PLLC ; 3 Jeffrey A. Gottlieb, Esq; 4 Shaked Law Group, P.C.; 5 Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC; 6 Wilshire Law Firm; 7 Lipsky Lowe LLP; 8 Center for Disability Access; 9 Carlson Brown, LLP; 10 Roderick Hannah, Esq., P.A.
An asterisk by Carlson Brown, LLP, and Roderick Hannah, Esq., P.A. shows they are new to the top 10 plaintiff lawyers.
Text under the image reads: There are more than 1,000 different defendant lawyers across hundreds of law firms working on active ADA-based lawsuits, while only 38 plaintiff law firms and 114 plaintiffs make up all the filed claims.
Tile 5: INDUSTRY LEADER BOARD
Text reads: If you are in e-commerce or food service, your chances of receiving an ADA digital lawsuit increase substantially over other industries. In 2022, healthcare has moved into the top 3, up from #5 in 2021.
Image is a pie-chart that shows E-commerce 74% and Other industries 26% of all cases.
Text shows a by industry breakdown of of E-commerce 79%; Food Service 7%; Other 3%; Healthcare 3%; Travel/Hospitality 2%; Banking/Financial 2;% Entertainment & Leisure 2%; Automotive 1%; Fitness & Wellness < 1%; Digital Media & Agencies < 1%; Real Estate Agencies & Properties < 1%; Education < 1%; Insurance < 1%; Telecommunications < 1%; for a Grand Total of 100%
Tile 6: NO COMPANY TOO SMALL
Text reads: Many defendants have less than 25M in annual revenue; this reflects the need for plaintiff firms to identify new companies to sue to maintain their volume.
Image shows a pie-chart where the first 6 months of 2022 27% of all cases were companies with > 25M revenue companies; 73% of cases were with companies with < 25M revenue companies
Text under the image reads: This trend could be a natural progression or due to changing consumer trends. Many of the largest companies have already been sued and have accessibility programs, which would make for a natural progression for smaller companies. The increase in e-commerce sales due to the pandemic has also brought more attention to smaller, up–and–coming e-commerce brands.
Tile 7: BIG E-COMMERCE BRANDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Text reads: 10% of the top 500 e-commerce retailers received a lawsuit so far in 2022. There are already 50 cases against the Top 500 e-commerce retailers in 2022. 83% of the retail 500 sued in the last 4 years. 417 of the top 500 received ADA-based digital lawsuits since 2018.
Tile 8: WIDGETS OFFER NO GUARANTEES
Text reads: Businesses using accessibility widgets received more than 300 lawsuits, a big YOY increase. In 2021, we reviewed 400 cases for the entire year. These lawsuits list the widget features as a barrier to equal access in addition to WCAG violations and other user web barriers.
Image shows the number of lawsuits for widget each month in 2022: Jan - 31; Feb - 44; Mar - 67; Apr - 36; May - 73 JUN - 64.
Tile 9: FINAL
Methodology: The UsableNet research team reviews all lawsuits filed in federal courts under the ADA and in California under Unruh –over 12,000 this year. The cases are reviewed to identify cases where a digital property is the subject of the claim and not a physical one. This allows UsableNet to keep our clients informed and provides them with the most up-to-date advice for planning their digital accessibility initiatives.
Source: Data is based on UsableNet’s research team’s collection across multiple legal sources from January 1, 2022, to June 23, 2022. A trusted partner can help you improve accessibility and reduce legal risk. Contact us for a free consultation with an accessibility expert.
Next steps: A trusted partner can help you improve accessibility and reduce legal risk. Contact us for a free consultation with
an accessibility expert.
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