Annual 2023 ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuit Report

In 2023, the landscape of ADA compliance litigation showed a distinctive pattern across the United States, with a total of 3,862 lawsuits filed for website accessibility.

EcomBack's 2023 ADA Accessibility Lawsuit Report cover with various disabilities icons.

Executive Summary

In 2023, the landscape of ADA compliance lawsuits for websites witnessed significant developments, reflecting an evolving legal environment and technological challenges. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of these key areas:

This report not only highlights the key areas of ADA compliance litigation but also serves as a guide for businesses and website owners to understand the current environment and prepare for future developments. With the landscape continuously evolving, proactive measures and expert guidance are more critical than ever.

Year-wise ADA Accessibility Lawsuits 2016 to 2023

Bar graph over map showing rising ADA lawsuits from 132 in 2016 to 3862 in 2023, Further details are provided below

Number of lawsuits each year: 132 lawsuits in 2016, 814 lawsuits in 2017, 2314 lawsuits in 2018, 2890 lawsuits in 2019, 3503 lawsuits in 2020, 4055 lawsuits in 2021, 4334 lawsuits in 2022, and 3862 ADA lawsuits in year 2023.

An In-Depth Analysis of State-wise ADA Lawsuits Filed in 2023

In 2023, the landscape of ADA compliance litigation showed a distinctive pattern across the United States, with a total of 3,862 lawsuits filed for website accessibility. This figure, distributed across various states, reveals a multifaceted narrative about legal attention to digital accessibility.

An In-Depth Analysis of State-wise ADA Lawsuits Filed in 2023
State Wise - Total ADA Lawsuits Filed Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
New York 2140 55.41% 159 185 209 209 174 202 158 223 148 186 149 140
California 953 24.68% 51 16 77 84 88 105 71 163 72 74 69 83
Florida 473 12.94% 54 43 51 41 36 30 31 48 31 34 38 36
Pennsylvania 159 4.85% 19 13 33 1 6 24 13 24 4 6 14 2
All Other States 137 3.34% 4 6 14 6 17 19 20 16 2 13 12 8
Total ADA Lawsuits Filed 3862 100% 287 263 384 341 321 380 291 474 257 313 282 289

State-wise Breakdown of 3,862 Website Accessibility Lawsuits Filed in 2023

New York: The state had 2,140 lawsuits, accounting for 55.41% of the national total. This significant number places New York at the forefront in terms of the volume of cases.


California:
With 953 lawsuits, California constituted 24.68% of the total lawsuits, indicating a substantial number of ADA compliance-related cases in the state.


Florida:
Florida saw 473 lawsuits, making up 12.25% of the nationwide total, showing a considerable amount of activity in ADA compliance litigation.


Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania reported 159 cases, which is 4.12% of the total, representing a smaller yet noteworthy portion of the national figure.


Other States:
Collectively, other states accounted for 137 lawsuits, or 3.55% of the total, showing varied activity in ADA compliance across these regions.

State by state breakdown of ADA lawsuit activity in the United States. Further details are provided below.

Number of lawsuits from January to December 2023: New York, 2140, California 953, Florida 473, Pennsylvania 159, and Other States 137.

A Brief Overview of Monthly Trends in ADA Lawsuits in 2023

In 2023, the ADA lawsuit filings displayed notable monthly fluctuations. The most active month was August, with 474 cases, whereas September saw the least activity with only 257 cases. This variation suggests a dynamic pattern in lawsuit filings throughout the year.

Key Observation:

In the upcoming “Law Firms Filing ADA Lawsuits” section, we will investigate the detailed reasons behind the decrease in ADA lawsuit filings, particularly after August. A key example is the law firm Mizrahi Kroub LLP, which filed over 800 lawsuits in 2022 but reduced its filings to 316 in 2023. This significant change in the filing patterns of a prominent law firm could be a crucial factor influencing overall trends. Additionally, we will explore whether this reduction is indicative of a broader shift in legal strategies, including a possible transition of focus from Federal to State courts, particularly in New York and California. Understanding these shifts is essential for comprehending the complex dynamics of ADA lawsuit filings in 2023. A thorough analysis will provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of ADA compliance litigation.


Comparison with 2022: Overall Comparison of ADA Lawsuits:

  • In 2022, there were a total of 4,334 ADA lawsuits.
  • In 2023, the total number decreased to 3,862 lawsuits.
  • This represents an overall decrease of approximately 10.89% in ADA lawsuits from 2022 to 2023.

State-Wise Increase and Decrease Comparison:

  • New York: Saw a decrease of 15.52% in lawsuits (from 2,533 in 2022 to 2,140 in 2023).
  • California: Experienced a decrease of 6.66% (from 1,021 in 2022 to 953 in 2023).
  • Florida: Had a decrease of 6.71% (from 507 in 2022 to 473 in 2023).
  • Pennsylvania: Noted a decrease of about 18.46% (from 195 in 2022 to 159 in 2023).
  • Other States: Contrarily, we saw an increase of 75.64% (from 78 in 2022 to 137 in 2023).

These figures indicate a general decline in ADA lawsuits in most states, with a notable exception of ADA lawsuits filed in Other States, which saw a significant increase. This data provides insights into the changing landscape of ADA compliance enforcement across different regions.


Concluding Thoughts:

The 2023 data strongly points to the critical need for proactive ADA compliance, especially in states with higher rates of litigation. While there was an overall decrease of 10.89% in ADA lawsuits, this should not be interpreted as a decline in legal actions concerning digital accessibility. The decrease in recorded lawsuits does not necessarily reflect a reduction in overall ADA-related legal activity.

It’s important to note that these figures DO NOT include ADA demand letters, which lack a formal tracking mechanism and often substitute or replace formal lawsuits. These figures may also miss state court filings, which are more difficult to track and often take a longer time to show up in docket activity.

Therefore, organizations are encouraged to remain vigilant and adaptive to the dynamic and evolving trends in digital accessibility litigation.



31 Plaintiffs Filed 50% of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits in 2023

31 Plaintiffs filed 50.28% of
lawsuits (1942 cases)

178 Plaintiffs filed 49.72% of
lawsuits (1920 cases)

209 Plaintiffs filed almost all accessibility cases in 2023

  • In 2023, only 31 plaintiffs were responsible for 1942 cases, which is 50.28% of ADA lawsuits, showcasing a concentrated pattern of legal activity by a handful of people.
  • 178 plaintiffs filed the balance of 1920 cases, which is 49.72% of ADA lawsuits against websites.
  • Overall, only 209 plaintiffs filed almost all of the website accessibility cases in the country.

This fact shows that ADA litigation is driven by a very small and select group of people and lawyers in the US.

This section analyzes monthly filing patterns and associations with specific law firms, highlighting strategic behaviors and notable periods of inactivity. The focus is on understanding the dynamics and implications of these trends for the ADA compliance landscape.

31 Plaintiffs Filed 50% of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits in 2023
Plaintiff Name Firm Name Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Perla Mageno Manning Law, APC 172 4.45% 1 0 12 27 22 22 14 20 14 11 20 9
Jose Casillas Custodio & Dubey LLP 95 2.46% 1 0 0 0 17 0 1 54 21 0 0 1
Alejandro Espinoza Mendez Law Offices, PLLC 87 2.25% 5 5 13 5 15 7 6 12 3 7 6 3
Jenny Hwang Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 83 2.15% 6 5 16 22 11 8 8 7 0 0 0 0
Victor Ariza Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A. 80 2.07% 3 8 13 7 6 4 4 4 8 5 11 7
Luis Licea Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 78 2.02% 2 0 11 6 7 11 9 9 2 4 10 7
Andrew Toro Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 75 1.94% 9 18 14 25 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Luis Toro Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 70 1.81% 0 0 15 8 17 16 12 2 0 0 0 0
James Watson J. Courtney Cunningham, PLLC 69 1.69% 7 7 6 14 6 3 4 7 2 5 0 8
Rusty Rendon Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 66 1.71% 4 0 5 8 12 10 3 10 4 5 2 3
Nelson Fernandez Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A. 63 1.63% 1 4 11 6 5 6 6 4 4 7 3 6
Daniel Lugo Lee D. Sarkin 61 1.58% 15 11 6 0 10 10 7 2 0 0 0 0
Maria Dimeglio Stein Saks, PLLC 60 1.55% 0 0 0 0 11 18 8 10 9 3 1 0
Jasmine Toro Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 58 1.50% 7 12 3 3 6 7 10 10 0 0 0 0
Drew Hunthausen Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 57 1.48% 8 0 6 8 3 6 6 6 2 0 1 11
Rebecca Castillo Manning Law, APC 57 1.48% 9 3 2 1 0 9 3 1 6 4 9 10
Kevin Yan Luis Law Office of Noor A. Saab 57 1.48% 0 2 0 8 1 3 8 13 6 5 8 3
Isabel Rendon Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 52 1.35% 0 0 16 10 4 4 3 3 0 3 1 8
Janelys Hernandez Law Office of Noor A. Saab 51 1.32% 0 0 21 8 4 1 5 4 0 8 0 0
Blair Douglass East End Trial Group LLC 50 1.29% 19 5 0 0 1 0 0 20 0 2 3 0
Gabriel Mcmorland Carlson Brown Law 50 1.29% 0 0 2 0 4 17 13 4 4 4 2 0
Luis Mercedes Stein Saks, PLLC 49 1.27% 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 15 14 7 4 2
Windy Lucius J. Courtney Cunningham, PLLC 48 1.24% 9 5 4 6 3 8 1 6 3 3 0 0
Linda Slade Shaked Law Group, P.C. 48 1.24% 3 7 8 4 5 9 3 6 0 0 0 0
Daniel Rodriguez Stein Saks, PLLC 47 1.22% 21 12 2 5 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Dominick Martin Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 45 1.17% 4 0 4 5 1 6 6 8 1 6 1 3
Lamar Brown Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 45 1.17% 0 14 0 20 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Lynn Zelvin Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 43 1.11% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 19 6 7
Vincent Clement Stein Saks, PLLC 42 1.09% 0 0 7 0 6 7 5 6 5 6 0 0
Frangie Espinal Gottlieb & Associates 42 1.09% 0 0 0 4 12 4 0 0 5 8 0 9
Damian Martin Stein Saks, PLLC 42 1.09% 0 0 0 0 0 10 3 9 7 5 5 3
31 Plaintiffs Filed 50.28% ADA Lawsuits in 2023 1,942 50.28% 134 118 197 210 211 209 157 252 131 128 94 101
178 Plaintiffis Filed 49.72% ADA Lawsuits in 2023 1,920 49.72% 153 145 187 131 110 171 134 222 126 185 188 168
ADA Lawsuits Filed by 209 Plaintiffs in 2023 3,862 100% 287 263 384 341 321 380 291 474 257 313 282 269

Filing Patterns by Leading Plaintiffs and Their Law Firms:

  • Perla Mageno from Manning Law, APC filed 172 lawsuits in 2023, making her the most active filer of the year. This follows her leading role in 2022, where she filed 199 lawsuits, again the highest for that year. Her cases are usually in California State Court utilizing California’s Unruh Act statute, which has statutory fines of $4,000 payable to the plaintiff plus attorney fees. The federal ADA does not provide for statutory damages but California does through the Unruh Act.
  • Jose Casillas of Custodio & Dubey LLP really stood out in August, filing a lot of lawsuits and pushing up that month’s total. Interestingly, he filed just one lawsuit in the whole of 2022, showing a big change in his legal activity this year. This plaintiff is also pursuing cases in California State Superior Court under the Unruh.
  • Claims in California State Courts can be very expensive for defendants due to these heavy statutory fines.


​​​​​​Months with Zero Filings Among the Top 15 Plaintiffs:

Several top plaintiffs had months with no lawsuit filings. Jose Casillas for example, despite being the 2nd top filer with 95 lawsuits, had no filings in 6 months.

Similarly, plaintiffs like Jenny Hwang, Andrew Toro, Luis Toro, and Jasmine Toro, from Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC, with 83, 75, 70 & 58 lawsuits respectively, had no filings in most months of the year.

This trend of sporadic filing activity among leading plaintiffs might indicate a deliberate legal strategy or reflect changes in their circumstances affecting how and when they choose to file lawsuits.


Implications on ADA Compliance and Litigation Trends:

The concentrated lawsuit activities and the specific patterns of filings by these plaintiffs, in conjunction with their law firms, have significant implications for the ADA compliance landscape. These trends raise questions about the motivations behind the lawsuits and the potential impact on businesses and legal practices.

5 Law Firms filed 54% of all website ADA lawsuits in 2023

5 Plaintiff law firms filed 54.22%
of lawsuits (2094 cases)

16 Plaintiff law firms filed 90.21%
of lawsuits (3484 cases)

50 Plaintiffs Attorney Firms filed all website accessibility cases in 2023

This section provides an in-depth analysis of ADA lawsuit filings by the top 16 law firms in 2023. Representing 90.21% of all lawsuits, these firms have significantly influenced the legal landscape of ADA compliance.

The following data offers a detailed monthly breakdown of their filing activities, highlighting trends, consistencies, and notable fluctuations in their legal actions over the year. This insight is crucial for understanding the dynamics and strategies of these key legal players in ADA litigation.

5 Law Firms filed 54% of all website ADA lawsuits in 2023
Number Plaintiff Firm Name Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1 Stein Saks, PLLC 568 14.71% 36 46 54 19 39 76 40 55 51 60 50 42
2 Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC 568 14.71% 27 52 68 94 58 52 38 42 37 67 13 20
3 Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC 362 9.37% 20 0 51 44 28 54 34 43 10 25 18 35
4 Manning Law, APC 316 8.18% 22 12 19 36 31 36 24 31 31 17 35 22
5 Gottlieb & Associates 280 7.25% 26 30 16 27 27 26 30 22 13 24 24 15
6 Mizrahi Kroub LLP 227 5.88% 44 32 18 16 14 4 20 43 6 3 1 26
7 Law Office of Noor A. Saab 216 5.59% 6 3 28 24 9 18 20 26 21 26 27 8
8 Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A. 182 4.71% 4 12 24 13 11 10 16 17 18 14 22 21
9 NYE Stirling, Hale & Miller, LLP 131 3.39% 14 9 12 15 13 7 10 15 12 4 20 0
10 Shaked Law Group, P.C. 128 3.31% 8 13 14 12 12 24 5 16 1 9 8 6
11 J. Courtney Cunningham, PLLC 117 3.03% 16 12 10 20 9 11 5 13 5 8 0 8
12 Mendez Law Offices, PLLC 102 2.64% 5 5 13 5 15 7 6 12 5 12 13 4
13 Custodio & Dubey LLP 95 2.46% 1 0 0 0 17 0 1 54 21 0 0 1
14 Carlson Brown Law 66 1.71% 0 8 10 0 4 17 13 4 4 4 2 0
15 Gabriel A. Levy, P.C. 65 1.68% 2 2 4 3 2 6 4 5 8 0 7 22
16 Lee D. Sarkin 61 1.58% 15 11 6 0 10 10 7 2 0 0 0 0
16 Law Firms Filed 90.21% of Lawsuits in 2023 3484 90.21% 246 247 347 328 299 358 273 400 243 273 240 230
34 Law Firms Filed 9.79% of Lawsuits in 2023 378 9.79% 41 16 37 13 22 22 18 74 14 40 42 39
50 Law Firms Filed 3862 Lawsuits in 2023 3862 100% 287 263 384 341 321 380 291 474 257 313 282 269

Key Summary Points:

Concentration of Litigation Efforts:

  • Stein & Saks, PLLC filed 568 lawsuits, making them a leading contributor. Stein & Saks, PLLC was sued by a plaintiff who alleges their website is inaccessible to people with visual impairments, and Judge Caproni of Southern District of New York issued a sanction against the firm for their filing practices.
  • Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC also filed 568 lawsuits, matching the output of Stein & Saks, PLLC
  • Pacific Trial Attorneys, APC contributed 362 lawsuits to the year’s total.
  • Manning Law, APC was responsible for 316 lawsuits. It is notable that their website uses an accessibility widget.
  • Gottlieb & Associates filed 280 lawsuits, completing the top five firms in terms of volume.

Collectively, these top 5 firms filed 2094 (54.22%) of total ADA lawsuits in 2023.

A Notable Observation: Five out of the top ten law firms, known for their active involvement in ADA lawsuits, have implemented accessibility widgets or accessibility add-ons on their own websites. This fact presents a contrast between their legal advocacy and their own website practices.

Diverse Filing Strategies and Peak Periods:

  • Custodio & Dubey LLP showed a major increase in activity with 54 lawsuits filed in August, a significant jump compared to just 1 lawsuit in the entire year of 2022. Interestingly, all these cases in 2023 were filed by a single plaintiff, Jose Casillas, who ranked as the second-highest filer of ADA lawsuits for the year.
  • Mendez Law Offices, PLLC, showed consistency but peaked in March and November with 13 cases each.
  • Carlson Brown Law ramped up their legal actions in June, filing 17 cases in that month alone. Throughout the year, they filed a total of 66 ADA website lawsuits, marking a shift from the previous year, when their focus was on lawsuits related to physical access barriers.


Law Firms with Notable Filing Variations:

  • Lee D. Sarkin had a significant drop, filing zero lawsuits in the last four months.
  • Mizrahi Kroub LLP saw a reduction in filings from September onwards, with only 1 case in November, but they seem to have shifted venue to New York State courts instead of SDNY.


Law Firms with Consistent Filing Throughout the Year:

Manning Law, APC, Gottlieb & Associates, and Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A. demonstrated relatively consistent filing patterns across the year.


Newcomers in ADA Website Compliance Litigation:

As 2023 neared its close, a set of new law firms began to initiate filings in the realm of website ADA compliance. Among these were Glanzberg Tobia Law, P.C.,
Throndset & Michenfelder Law Office LLC, Marlon B. Baldomero, Esq., and Zeig Law Firm, LLC.

Their debut in filing ADA lawsuits marks a potential expansion of legal advocates focused on digital accessibility issues. While their current level of activity is just beginning, the participation of these firms suggest a broadening interest and increased enforcement efforts in ADA website compliance in the legal community.

Industry Analysis - ADA Compliance Lawsuit Trends of 2023

The year 2023 presented a challenging legal environment for various industries regarding ADA website compliance. The data illuminates the distribution and frequency of lawsuits across key sectors, with a total of 3,862 lawsuits recorded. A considerable 93.60% of these lawsuits were concentrated in just ten industries, reflecting targeted legal scrutiny on specific sectors.

Industry Analysis - ADA Compliance Lawsuit Trends of 2023
Number Industry Category Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1 Lifestyle, Fashion, Clothing & Apparel 1156 29.93% 56 69 140 94 79 116 93 170 91 91 74 83
2 Restaurant, Food, Drinks & Beverages 885 22.92% 64 59 78 85 98 89 44 87 60 67 69 85
3 Medical, Health, Fitness & Sports 344 8.91% 38 28 23 24 23 25 36 41 29 27 27 23
4 Furniture, Ligthing, Home Decor & Kitchen 316 8.18% 34 39 36 33 28 22 11 35 8 24 22 24
5 Travel, Hotels & Hospitality 215 5.57% 29 23 21 17 26 27 26 12 3 18 6 7
6 Beauty, Skin & Body Care 190 4.92% 9 7 27 25 17 21 12 27 11 10 15 9
7 Retail & Consumer Goods 174 4.51% 8 7 0 12 16 36 8 34 21 10 12 9
8 Educational, Media, Magazines & Kids 142 3.68% 18 12 12 1 7 0 12 16 8 24 23 9
9 Toys, Games, Gifts & Flower Shops 112 2.90% 19 14 21 9 9 8 2 4 4 4 11 7
10 Computer, Mobile & Electronic Accessories 81 2.10% 4 0 10 9 9 12 6 13 4 6 6 2
10 Industries Faced 93.60% of ADA lawsuits 3615 93.60% 279 258 368 310 312 356 250 439 239 281 265 258
7 industries Faced 6.40% of the lawsuits 247 6.40% 8 5 16 31 9 24 41 35 18 32 17 11
Industries Affected by Website Accessibility Lawsuits in 2023 3862 100% 287 263 384 341 321 380 291 474 257 313 282 269

Key Points Summary:

  • Dominant Industry Challenges: The Lifestyle, Fashion, Clothing & Apparel industry faced the highest number of lawsuits, with 1,156 cases (29.93%), suggesting a significant focus on retail web accessibility.
  • Culinary and Hospitality Pressures: The Restaurant, Food, Drinks & Beverages sector dealt with 885 lawsuits (22.92%), underscoring the critical need for accessible online food service platforms.
  • Health and Well-being in Focus: The Medical, Health, Fitness & Sports Accessories category encountered 344 cases (8.91%), indicating growing attention to accessible health-related information online.
  • Home and Decor Accessibility: The Furniture, Lighting, Home Decor & Kitchen Accessories sector was subject to 316 lawsuits (8.18%), highlighting the necessity of accessible e-commerce experiences in home living.
  • Trends Across the Year: Monthly trends varied, with Lifestyle, Fashion, Clothing & Apparel and Restaurant, Food, Drinks & Beverages industries experiencing a notable surge in August, possibly linked to seasonal marketing campaigns and website updates.
  • Emerging Sector Focus: Other sectors, including Beauty, Skin & Body Care and Educational, Media, Magazines & Kids Accessories, though facing fewer lawsuits, still felt the impact of ADA compliance litigation, which could influence future web development strategies within these niches.


Majority of lawsuits are against small to mid-size businesses.

Small Businesses such as restaurants and service based businesses are increasingly a target of ADA lawsuits, particularly in California.

“ADA Lawsuits Mainly Affect Small Businesses, Though Big Brands Aren’t Exempt: A Reminder That “It Doesn’t Happen Until It Happens”

 

The recent surge in ADA website lawsuits primarily impacts small to mid-size businesses, though high-profile cases among industry giants like Apple, Tesla, and Samsung have made headlines. This trend underscores a crucial reminder: “It doesn’t happen to you until it happens to you.” While major brands such as Adidas, Armani, Levi’s, and others like Ford, Nike, Nordstrom, and Lowe’s have faced repeat lawsuits, the real brunt of these legal challenges falls on smaller businesses.


Small businesses often don’t consider the possibility of an ADA website lawsuit until they are directly affected, by which time the financial and reputational damage can be significant.

Business owner in apron reading ADA lawsuit report in cafe, storefront visible outside.

Local neighborhood businesses
are sued by plaintiffs far and wide.

This situation highlights the importance of proactive measures in website accessibility, particularly for smaller businesses with limited resources. The frequency of lawsuits against famous brands, including Under Armour, Fendi, Prada, Hermes, and others, serves as a stark reminder that no business, regardless of size, is immune from ADA compliance issues. Prioritizing website accessibility is not just a legal necessity but a crucial step in inclusive business practices.

Limited Engagement and Efforts by Business Chambers in Educating on Inaccessible Websites

Business support organizations, especially those representing minority-owned enterprises, need to enhance their efforts in education small business owners about the risks of having websites that are not accessible. According to EcomBack research, a significant number of businesses facing lawsuits are largely unaware of the issues related to website accessibility.

An unsurprising 24.50% of ADA Lawsuits Against Websites with Accessibility Widgets

Despite the common belief in their effectiveness or value, overlay widgets contributed to 24.50% of ADA lawsuits against websites in 2023, as shown in the provided data and chart. This figure highlights a critical insight: the implementation of accessibility widgets does not guarantee ADA compliance or immunity from legal action. In an interesting twist, some law firms that advocate for ADA compliance by suing businesses over their website accessibility are themselves using these widgets on their sites.

The accompanying list offers a detailed breakdown of the top 10 accessibility add-ons (including overlay widgets, overlays, plugins, buttons, scripts, apps, etc.) identified on websites at the time of lawsuit filings, alongside a month-by-month analysis. This data provides a comprehensive overview of the prevalence of each type of accessibility add-on among the websites involved in ADA lawsuits.

An unsurprising 24.50% of ADA Lawsuits Against Websites with Accessibility Widgets
Number Accessibility Widget Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1 accessiBe 348 37.46% 40 37 39 22 24 30 23 47 21 21 14 30
2 UserWay 246 26.48% 28 21 20 29 23 21 15 28 12 21 11 17
3 AudioEye 72 7.75% 7 3 5 11 3 6 5 6 7 9 5 5
4 Accessibly 63 6.78% 1 6 5 9 4 9 6 9 2 5 3 4
5 EqualWeb 38 4.09% 3 3 4 4 4 1 2 3 4 6 2 3
6 UsableNet 20 2.15% 1 1 4 1 1 0 0 5 0 2 2 3
7 eSSENTIAL Accessibility 18 1.94% 0 0 4 5 3 0 1 1 0 1 1 2
8 CodeInspire 17 1.83% 1 2 5 1 1 0 1 4 0 1 1 0
9 Accessibility Enabler 15 1.61% 1 1 1 2 2 3 1 2 1 0 1 0
10 Level Access 15 1.61% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 4 5
Total of top 10 widgets 852 91.71% 82 73 87 84 65 70 54 105 51 68 44 69
Other widgets 77 8.29% 7 5 8 6 6 5 11 13 3 3 4 6
Total lawsuits against websites with overlay widgets 929 100% 89 78 95 90 71 75 65 118 54 71 48 75

Throughout the year, lawsuits were consistently filed against websites employing various overlay technologies, with the highest concentration occurring in August. This trend challenges the perception that overlays are a comprehensive solution for accessibility. Instead, it suggests that many websites, despite utilizing these tools, may still have substantial accessibility gaps.

The persistence of legal actions across months, regardless of the deployment of these widgets, underscores the need for a more nuanced approach to digital accessibility. It points to the necessity for website owners to not solely rely on overlays but to engage in thorough and ongoing evaluations of their sites’ accessibility to truly meet the standards set forth by the ADA.

Month-wise ADA Website Lawsuits Against Websites with Accessibility Widgets

Graph showing month-wise ADA lawsuits against websites with accessibility widgets. Further details are provided below

Bar graph showing lawsuits against websites with accessibility widgets: January 90, February 80, March 100, April 91, May 72, June 75, July 66, August 122, September 54, November 49, December 75.

Note: In presenting this information it is crucial to note that our intention is not to cast a negative light on the providers of these accessibility widgets but rather to provide an objective analysis based on the available data. The presence of a widget in a lawsuit does not necessarily indicate a flaw in the widget itself but could be due to various factors including incorrect implementation or other issues unrelated to the widget’s functionality.

Platforms and Website Accessibility Lawsuits in 2023

In 2023, the implementation of various web development platforms and technologies came under scrutiny for ADA compliance, culminating in 3,862 lawsuits. These legal actions were not a commentary on the platforms themselves, nor were the platforms named in the lawsuits, but rather on how they were utilized to build websites.

The data reflects the need for proper implementation of website building platforms by designers and developers to ensure website accessibility.

Platforms and Website Accessibility Lawsuits in 2023
Number Platform Summary Total Lawsuits Percentage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1 Shopify 1378 35.68% 73 103 162 151 127 151 106 160 95 100 71 79
2 WordPress 700 18.13% 80 35 57 53 72 64 50 85 37 70 47 50
3 Salesforce Commerce Cloud 149 3.86% 14 8 20 9 9 5 3 30 10 11 13 17
4 Magento 146 3.78% 10 9 17 14 6 14 8 20 16 12 9 13
5 Squarespace 102 2.64% 8 3 11 10 8 12 6 9 14 2 9 10
6 BigCommerce 100 2.59% 3 12 7 4 4 8 11 16 8 6 13 8
7 Wix 59 1.53% 4 5 0 6 10 3 6 9 2 2 6 6
8 Other Custom Coded Websites 1228 31.38% 95 88 110 94 85 123 101 145 77 110 114 86
Total Lawsuits 3862 100% 287 263 384 341 321 380 291 474 257 313 282 269

Key Points Summary:

  • E-Commerce Platform Compliance: Websites using the Shopify platform faced 1,378 lawsuits, representing 35.68% of the total, emphasizing the importance of proper accessibility features implementation in e-commerce platforms.
  • CMS Accessibility Oversight: WordPress-based sites accounted for 700 lawsuits (18.13%), indicating potential oversights in accessible design and content management practices.
  • Retail Platform Accessibility: Websites using Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento were hit with 149 (3.86%) and 146 (3.78%) lawsuits, respectively, highlighting challenges in deploying accessible retail solutions.
  • DIY Website Builders’ Accessibility Hurdles: Websites using DIY platforms like Squarespace and BigCommerce, were impacted with 102 (2.64%) and 100 (2.59%) lawsuits, respectively, alongside Wix with 59 (1.53%), show that ease of use does not always equate to accessibility compliance
  • Challenges with Custom-Coded Websites: Custom-coded websites were named in 1,228 lawsuits (31.80%), suggesting that even tailor-made solutions can fall short in accessibility if not properly coded with compliance in mind.

ADA Website Compliance Updates:
Yearly Roundup of Developments and News

Web Accessibility in the Spotlight: Colorado’s Progressive Steps with HB 21-1110

  • Legislative Milestone: Colorado’s HB 21-1110, which goes into effect soon, mandates web accessibility standards for state and local government websites.
  • Streamlined Legal Process: The bill permits website accessibility lawsuits to be filed directly in state courts, bypassing the need for federal court involvement and potentially expediting the resolution process.
  • Accessibility Plan Deadline: Public agencies were required to create and submit accessibility plans by July 1st, 2022.
  • Compliance Deadline: Full implementation of these web accessibility plans is mandated by July 1st, 2024.
  •  Financial Accountability: Non-compliance may lead to monetary penalties up to $3,500, with fines benefiting the plaintiffs with disabilities.
  • Current Scope: While HB 21-1110 presently applies only to government websites, its implications signal the importance of accessibility across all digital platforms.
  • Proactive Compliance Support: EcomBack offers specialized services to ensure organizations can meet the HB 21-1110 standards, enhancing web accessibility for all users.

As Colorado sets a new benchmark with HB21-1110, businesses and website owners can anticipate a ripple effect beyond the immediate legal requirements for state and local government entities. This legislation signals a broader trend towards stringent web accessibility standards. In the future, private sector businesses, especially those interfacing with government agencies or serving the public, might expect similar mandates to ensure digital inclusivity. Proactive adaptation to these standards, even before legal obligations arise, could position businesses as leaders in accessibility, fostering goodwill, and expanding their customer base. EcomBack stands ready to guide businesses through this evolving landscape, ensuring that websites not only comply with the current legislation but are also prepared for future developments in web accessibility standards.


California’s AB 950 / AB 1757

EcomBack was at the forefront of advocating to stop a piece of legislation initially titled AB 950 and later AB 1757. Read more about it here: https://stopab1757.com/


DOJ issues Proposed Rule Making for Title II covered entities

“This NPRM proposes a specific technical standard that state and local governments would have to follow to meet their existing obligations under Title II of the ADA for web and mobile app accessibility.” Read more here: https://www.ada.gov/resources/2023-07-20-web-nprm/

Blind Sighted - A documentary film on website accessibility

EcomBack provided support and data to the filmmaking team of “Blind Sighted”, an upcoming documentary feature film that exposes the legal, ethical and societal challenges of web accessibility.

Stay tuned for more on this film – coming soon.

A documentary, Blind Sighted, supported by EcomBack is Coming Soon

EcomBack's Comprehensive Approach to ADA Compliance and Web Accessibility

EcomBack distinguishes itself in the realm of ADA compliance with a comprehensive suite of expert-driven services, rooted in a deep understanding of web accessibility challenges. As a court-approved remediation service provider and an active participant in both the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and the advisory committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), EcomBack offers unparalleled expertise in the field.

Court-Approved Remediation Services: Recognized as a court-approved remediation service provider, EcomBack ensures that its compliance solutions are in line with legal expectations and best practices.


Affiliations with Leading Accessibility Organizations:
Membership in the IAAP and participation in the W3C advisory committee positions, EcomBack is at the forefront of global web accessibility initiatives, contributing to and staying updated with the latest standards and practices.


Manual, Code-Level Adjustment Approach:
EcomBack’s approach involves meticulous, manual remediation at the code level, avoiding reliance on overlay widgets or plug-ins for a more effective compliance strategy.


Expert Team with Unique Insights:
The combination of remediation experts and a team of usability testers and auditors, including individuals who are blind, brings an invaluable perspective to EcomBack’s services, ensuring websites are accessible and user-friendly for a diverse audience.


Free Website Accessibility Audit:
EcomBack offers a free initial website audit, providing a comprehensive assessment of accessibility issues. This is followed by a consultation call to discuss the findings and suggest effective remediation strategies.


Transparent and Flat Fee Structure:
Recognizing the need for clarity and predictability in costs, EcomBack employs a transparent, flat-fee pricing model, ensuring clients understand and can budget for the services without unexpected expenses.

International Association of Accessibility Professionals - Organizational Member W3C Member and Advisory Committee Court Approved Accessibility Provider
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Through these tailored services, EcomBack not only addresses the technical aspects of ADA compliance but also fosters an environment of inclusivity & accessibility in the digital space. Our holistic, client-centric approach makes us a trusted partner for businesses like yours seeking to enhance their website’s accessibility.

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View Our ADA Website Lawsuits Recap Reports!

View Our ADA Website Lawsuits Recap Reports!

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Methodology

This report presents the findings on cases filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in US Federal and State courts for the period of January 01, 2023, to December 31, 2023, using CourtLink and PACER as the primary data sources. Keyword research was conducted by EcomBack’s research team, focusing on cases related to digital accessibility.

The search criteria included specific keywords related to ADA-related cases, with a focus on those cases where digital properties were the subject of the claim. Our research team meticulously reviewed all relevant cases found through this search to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the data presented in this report.

EcomBack is a company that specializes in web development and is committed to making websites accessible. Our team conducts thorough research in all aspects of digital accessibility that affect disabled individuals and businesses. It is important to note that EcomBack is not a law firm and the information presented in this report is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice or representation, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

We take pride in presenting accurate and up-to-date information in this report, but we cannot guarantee its completeness or accuracy. Court records are subject to frequent updates, revisions, and amendments, and there may be cases that were not included in our search due to various reasons, including but not limited to clerical errors, data entry mistakes, or technical issues.

This report is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or an endorsement of any particular course of action. The information contained herein is provided “as is,” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

If you spot an error, please contact us immediately for correction. EcomBack disclaims all liability for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this report or the information contained herein. By accessing and using this report, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this methodology.

The editorial comments and statements made in the document are the personal opinions of the writers, researchers and commentators who have contributed to this report.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this report are provided for informational purposes only. The data and insights presented are based on our observations and interpretations, and while we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information. For detailed terms and conditions regarding our content, please refer to our Website Content Disclaimer.