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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 6, 2024

Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several New "Tester" Plaintiffs—Gomberg, Hernandez, Karim, Liz, and Troche—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 these 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 websites.

Several relatively new plaintiffs are now on the scene, including Matthew Gomberg, Timothy Hernandez, Jessica Karim, Pedro Liz, and Veronica Troche, who, according to court records, have collectively filed 70 website accessibility lawsuits, the vast majority of which were filed in recent months.

  • Gomberg has filed 13 lawsuits since November 1, 2023. He is represented by the Law Office of David Glanzberg, PC, which has filed more than 100 similar lawsuits.
  • Hernandez has filed 15 lawsuits since October 30, 2023. He is represented by Stein Saks, PLLC, which has filed more than 1,600 similar lawsuits.
  • Karim has filed 22 lawsuits since December 7, 2023, and Liz has filed 10 lawsuits since December 1, 2023. They are represented by Gabriel A. Levy, PC, which has filed roughly 250 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits.
  • Troche has filed 10 lawsuits, including three new lawsuits in 2024. She was previously represented by the Law Office of Noor A. Saab, which has filed nearly 400 ADA lawsuits, and she is currently represented by Joseph & Norinsberg, LLC, which has filed 19 ADA 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 users with disabilities and otherwise comply with federal, state, and local disability laws, in accordance with DOJ guidance issued in March 2022.

It should be noted that the DOJ submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice of rulemaking under Title II of the ADA that aims to improve access to websites and mobile applications for people with disabilities by creating a minimum standard for state and local governments to meet existing ADA obligations.

In the unfortunate event your business is served with one of these website accessibility lawsuits, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Barclay Damon. 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 or Commercial Litigation Practice Areas 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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