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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.

February 2, 2023

Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Law Firm for Serial Tester Plaintiffs Now Targeting Businesses in New York State Court

As we have previously reported in several alerts, in recent years, numerous serial tester plaintiffs have collectively filed hundreds, if not thousands, of website accessibility lawsuits in federal courts throughout the country. It appears one of the law firms representing these plaintiffs, Mizrahi Kroub LLP, which has filed nearly 3,000 website accessibility lawsuits in federal district courts in New York State, has recently shifted its focus to state court litigation, particularly in the Kings, Bronx, Queens, and New York County Supreme Courts.

More specifically, within the last several weeks, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed on behalf of more than a dozen plaintiffs, including Cristian Sanchez, Ramon Jaquez, Jose Zarzuela, Vanessa Jimenez, Richard Mejia, Juan Batista, Waleska Pena, Yugely Nunez, Ramon Fontanez, Daysi Hernandez, Thomas Genwright, Juan Santana, Maricela Donet, Roberta Feliz, Jose Quezada, and Mairoby Hernandez.

These recently filed state court lawsuits appear strikingly similar to the federal court lawsuits previously filed by this same law firm, except the state court lawsuits do not assert any claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act and instead only assert claims under the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York State Civil Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

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, 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 in accordance with DOJ guidance issued in March 2022.

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 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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