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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.

June 26, 2023

Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several New "Tester" Plaintiffs—Clement, DiMeglio, Delacruz, Hedges, Alexandria—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits

We continue to report on the plethora of serial plaintiffs who have collectively filed thousands of website accessibility lawsuits, primarily against small businesses, in state and federal courts throughout the country. These boilerplate lawsuits generally allege that businesses’ websites are inaccessible to visually impaired individuals who use screen-reading software, thus denying them full and equal access to the goods or services offered on the businesses’ websites.

Several relatively new plaintiffs are now on the scene, including Vincent Clement, Maria DiMeglio, Emanuel Delacruz, Donna Hedges, and Erika Alexandria, who, according to court records, have collectively filed nearly 300 lawsuits, the vast majority of which were filed within the last few months.

  • Clement and DiMeglio have collectively filed 54 lawsuits since March 10, 2023. Both are represented by Mark Rozenberg, whose law firm, Stein Saks, PLLC, has filed more than 1,300 similar lawsuits.
  • Delacruz and Hedges have collectively filed 230 lawsuits, including nine lawsuits in June 2023. Both are represented by Jeffrey Gottlieb, whose law firm, Gottlieb & Associates, has filed more than 1,600 similar lawsuits.
  • Alexandria has filed eight lawsuits since June 7, 2023, and she is represented by Mars Khaimov, who has filed more than 1,000 similar lawsuits.

As we have reported on numerous occasions, both state and federal 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 (DOJ), 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 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, Commercial Litigation 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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