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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

January 9, 2023

ADA Accessibility Lawsuits: Several New "Tester" Plaintiffs—Seana Cromitie, Mykayla Fagnani, Sylinia Jackson, Karen Blachowicz, and Juan Santana—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Federal Lawsuits

We previously published legal alerts on April 13, 2022, October 20, 2022, December 5, 2022, and January 2, 2023, about numerous serial plaintiffs who, in recent years, have collectively filed hundreds, if not thousands, of website accessibility lawsuits in federal courts all across the country.

There are now several new plaintiffs on the scene, including Seana Cromitie, Mykayla Fagnani, Sylinia Jackson, Karen Blachowicz, and Juan Santana, who, according to court records, have collectively filed more than 130 lawsuits, primarily in federal district courts in New York State.

  • Cromitie has filed 28 lawsuits since January 2022. She is represented by Yitzchak Zelman, whose law firm (Marcus & Zelman, LLC) has filed roughly 300 similar lawsuits.
  • Fagnani has filed 29 lawsuits since November 2022, and Jackson has filed 32 lawsuits since March 2022. They are represented by Jeffrey Gottlieb, whose law firm (Gottlieb & Associates) has filed more than 1,400 similar lawsuits.
  • Blachowicz has filed 45 lawsuits since March 2019, including 10 lawsuits in 2022. She is represented by Benjamin Sweet, whose law firm (Nye, Stirling, Hale & Miller LLP) has filed roughly 600 similar lawsuits.
  • Santana has filed seven lawsuits since December 23, 2022. He is represented by William Downes, whose law firm (Mizrahi Kroub LLP) has filed more than 2,800 similar lawsuits.

As we have reported on numerous prior occasions, both federal and state lawmakers have taken steps in recent years to curb website accessibility lawsuits; however, to date, no legislation has been passed. In the absence of legislation or regulations promulgated by the US Department of Justice, we recommend that businesses operating a website, mobile application, or both take steps to ensure that these online systems are accessible to visually impaired and hearing-impaired users and otherwise comply with federal, state, and local disability laws. That includes conforming all web and mobile content with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines—at least until there is meaningful legislative or regulatory action. 

In the unfortunate event you or your business is served with one of these website accessibility lawsuits, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Barclay Damon, who have represented and continue to represent a number of defendants in these and similar ADA lawsuits. We will continue to monitor the development of these cases.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Rob Thorpe, partner, at rthorpe@barclaydamon.com, or another member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Area or Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team.

The Labor & Employment Podcast is a weekly Barclay Damon Live podcast hosted by Ari Kwiatkowski that provides employers with important updates regarding ever-evolving state and federal labor and employment laws as well as a wide range of timely topics pertaining to labor and employment issues in the workplace. Click here to watch or listen to the Labor & Employment Podcast as well as Barclay Damon’s other podcast series: Cyber Sip and Cannabis Counselor. 
 

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