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Tile 1: 2023 Year-End Web and App Lawsuit Report

ADA Digital Accessibility Lawsuit Trends Involving - Websites, Mobile, Apps, 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 state courts in New York or California. The following report outlines trends found during 2023. Data and images can be shared when referencing UsableNet as a source and linking to

Image description: A courthouse drawing is in the image's foreground in peach. The eyes, ears, hands, and brain icons, representing visual, audio, motor, and cognitive disabilities, are scaled up and behind the courthouse in a medium blue color. The background is dark blue.


Tile 2: More than 4,600 Cases in 2023

The text reads: UsableNet reviewed lawsuits filed in state courts in New York, California, and federal courts to evaluate the legal pressure on businesses. Plaintiffs filed 1,519 lawsuits in state courts (33%) and 3,086 in federal courts (67%). This indicates that state lawsuits are becoming as important as federal lawsuits for digital accessibility. When combining state and federal cases, plaintiffs filed 4,605 lawsuits in 2023. 

Image description: A circle graph showing the federally filed and state-filed lawsuits. 33% of lawsuits were filed in state courts, and 67% were filed in federal courts. 

Tile 3: Businesses Continue to Get Multiple Lawsuits

The text reads: Over 700 lawsuits in 2023 were against companies that had a previous ADA digital lawsuit.

Many companies have received multiple ADA-based lawsuits. Often, the first lawsuit is for the website and the second for a mobile app. More cases can come from new plaintiffs. Additionally, plaintiffs were also found to file lawsuits against a sister brand or parent company. In some instances, the exact website receives lawsuits from different plaintiffs. The bottom line? If a business's website, apps, or other digital content is not accessible, it is at risk.

Image Description: A pie graph showing the percentage of companies sued this year that had a previous lawsuit. 25% of lawsuits in 2023 were against companies that have received a previous ADA Digital Lawsuit.

Tile 4: New York Outpaces Others

The text reads: New York had more federal and state law filings than any other venue or state. Businesses do not need to be located in New York State to be sued; they only need customers in the state. Courts in New York are also less strict than other jurisdictions, not requiring companies to have a physical location in the state. Finally, some of the most active plaintiffs and plaintiff attorney firms are located in New York.

Lawsuits in California declined in 2023 perhaps because federal and state courts ruled in 2022 that a physical location or a nexus was necessary for plaintiffs to file an ADA-based web accessibility lawsuit.
In new trends, federal lawsuits emerged in new states with no filings in 2022 with 33 total filings in New Jersey and 11 cases filed in Wisconsin.

Image description: Bar graph comparing the number of cases in New York, California, and Florida in 2023. Jan had 39 cases filed in California, 203 in New York, and 38 in Florida. Feb had 20 in California; 262 in New York and 33 cases filed in Florida. March had 62 cases in California, 273 in New York, and 52 in Florida.  April had 68 cases in California, 224 in New York, and 41 in Florida. May had 44 cases in California, 226 in New York, and 36 in Florida. June had 73 cases in California, 320 in New York, and 36 cases in Florida. July had 32 cases in California, 276 cases in New York, and 36 cases in Florida. August saw 47 cases in California, 306 in New York, and 58 in Florida. September had 29 cases in California, 342 in New York, and 35 in Florida. October saw 61 cases in California, 312 in New York, and 33 in Florida. November had 57 lawsuits in California, 249 in New York, and 39 in California. December's projected lawsuits are 82 in California, 209 in New York, and 34 in Florida.

Tile 5: Industry Leader Board

The text reads: eCommerce websites are cited the most in digital accessibility lawsuits. Companies with physical locations are high on the target list. 

eCommerce websites receive the most lawsuits, followed by the Food Service Industry and Education. Why eCommerce? More companies are selling online than any other type of business; their websites change often, and many have complex functionality.
Education moved into the top three for the first time in years with one active plaintiff firm filing 100 of the 104 lawsuits against education organizations.


Image description: A pie graph of eCommerce websites with digital accessibility claims versus other industries. eCommerce accounts for 82% of accessibility lawsuits while the other industries account for 18%. The percentage of lawsuits by industry follows: eCommerce: 82%; Food Service Industry: 7%; Education: 4%; Healthcare: 2%; Other: 2%; Travel/Hospitality: 1%; Fitness & Wellness 1%; Entertainment & Leisure 1%; Digital Media & Agencies: less than 1%; Banking/Financial: Less than 1%; Real Estate Agencies & Properties: less than 1%; Telecommunications less than 1%; Automotive: less than 1%; Insurance: less than 1%;  Grand Total: 100.00%.

Tile 6: Targeting Big and Small Businesses

The text reads: Most companies that received lawsuits have annual revenue under 25 million. This trend reflects how plaintiff firms submit claims in large volumes. 

This is a natural progression after years of lawsuits. Many big companies have been sued and have accessibility programs, so plaintiffs are moving to smaller companies. There are 33.2 million small businesses in America, accounting for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses per the US Chamber of Commerce, so by focusing here, plaintiffs can continue to submit claims in large volumes.
Increasing eCommerce sales due to changing consumer spending habits may also impact these numbers.

Image Description: 4 bar graphs showing the percentages of lawsuits filed against companies that made less than 50 million and companies that made more than 50 million for the years 2020 - 2022. In 2020 and 2021, 30% of companies sued for accessibility claims made over 50 million dollars in revenue while 70% of companies sued for accessibility claims earned less than 50 million dollars in revenue. In 2022, 28% of companies sued for accessibility made more than 50 million dollars in revenue while 72% of companies sued had earnings less than 50 million dollars in revenue. In 2023, 27% of companies sued for accessibility made more than 50 million dollars in revenue while 73% of companies sued had earnings less than 50 million dollars in revenue.

Tile 7: Large eCommerce Brands in Focus

411 of the Internet Retailer Top 500 list received an ADA-based digital lawsuit related to one of their brands since 2018. Large eCommerce sites change content and code often and many have complex functionality that can cause screen reader problems, which may go undetected without a strong accessibility testing program in place. Large retailers are also more likely to have a physical location (nexus), which some courts have indicated is required for the digital requirements of the ADA to apply.

Image Description: 21% of the top 500 eCommerce retailers received a lawsuit in 2023. There were 106 cases against the top 500 eCommerce retailers in 2023. 82% of the top 500 eCommerce retailers received lawsuits in the last four years.

Tile 8: Leading ADA Law Firms

The text reads: The top 10 plaintiff law firms account for more than 80% of all federally filed cases; in contrast, the top ten defense law firms represent around 20% of federal cases.

There are more than 650 different defendant lawyers across hundreds of law firms working on active ADA-based lawsuits, while only 38 plaintiff law firms and 51 plaintiffs make up all the filed claims. This is based on data from federally filed ADA-based lawsuits.

Image description: A list of the top 10 defendant law firms and a defendant lawyer's mindset. The defense lawyer's mindset is “We will defend you, but you should be accessible.” The Number one Defendant Law firm for digital accessibility is Stein & Nieporent LLP; Number two is Dentons US, LLP; Third is Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Fourth is Jackson Lewis P.C.; Fifth is Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP; Sixth is Law Offices of Nolan Klein, P.A.; Seventh is O’hagan Meyer LLC; Eighth is Blank Rome LLP; Ninth is Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP; Tenth is Littler Mendelson P.C.;

Second Image Description: A list of the top 10 plaintiff law firms and a plaintiff lawyer's mindset. A plaintiff lawyer's mindset is “We will sue you if you do not provide an accessible website.” The number one plaintiff law firm is Mars Khaimov Law PLLC; Number 2 is Stein Saks PLLC; Third is Mars Khaimov Law PLLC; Fourth is Gottlieb & Associates; Fifth is Shaked Law Group, P.C.; In sixth is Mizrahi Kroub LLP; In 7th is Nye, Stirling, Hale, Millet & Sweet LLP; 8th is Cunningham Law PLLC; 9th is Adams & Associates, PA; Rounding out the top 10 is 9th is Law Office of Pelayo Duran, PA.


Tile 9: Websites Are the Primary Target

The text reads: Understanding what digital properties are named in ADA-based digital lawsuits can help you prioritize your efforts and advance your accessibility program.

The majority of plaintiffs are focused on website accessibility. There are a few plaintiff firms that have filed lawsuits around mobile websites, apps and video.


Image Description: A table detailing the percentages of desktop websites, video content, mobile app, combined website and mobile app, and mobile websites that have been sued. Desktop websites had 97% of the claims; Mobile websites had 2% of the claims. Video accessibility, Combined web & app and Mobile app had less than 1% filed.


Tile 10: Accessibility Widgets Offer No Guarantees

The text reads: Over 900 companies with an accessibility widget or overlay on their website received a lawsuit in 2023.

Businesses using accessibility widgets received 933 lawsuits in 2023, a 62% increase from 2022 when we found 575. Many of these lawsuits list the widget features and functionality as accessibility barriers, as well as typical WCAG failures.


Image Description: A bar graph showing the number of lawsuits against companies using widgets from January to December: Jan had 59; Feb had 60; March had 82; April had 78; May had 57; June had 113; July had 80; Aug had 101; Sept had 72; Oct. had 92; Nov. had 60. As of December 12, 2023, December is projected to have 79 lawsuits with a widget.


Tile 11: Final

Methodology: Methodology: The UsableNet research team reviews all lawsuits filed in federal court under the ADA or filed in state court in New York or California. The cases are reviewed to identify where digital property, including websites, mobile, and video, is the claim’s subject. This lets UsableNet keep our clients informed and provide the most up-to-date advice for planning digital accessibility initiatives.

Source: Data is based on UsableNet’s research team’s collection across multiple legal sources from January 1, 2023, to December 12, 2023.

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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