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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, 2024

Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Mairoby Hernandez, Leo Tavarez, Ana Chalas, Damon Jones, Frangie Espinal, and Nadreca Reid—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 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.

There has been a recent surge in lawsuits filed by several of these plaintiffs, including Mairoby Hernandez, Leo Tavarez, Ana Chalas, Damon Jones, Frangie Espinal, and Nadreca Reid, who, according to court records, have collectively filed approximately 410 website accessibility lawsuits, many of which were filed in recent months.

  • Hernandez has filed 59 lawsuits since January 2023 (and 104 total lawsuits since June 2022); Tavarez has filed 20 lawsuits, all since June 20, 2024; and Chalas has filed 51 lawsuits since February 2023 (and 103 total lawsuits since May 2022). They are represented by Mizrahi Kroub LLP, which has filed more than 3,000 similar lawsuits in federal court and, recently, hundreds more in New York State courts.
  • Jones has filed four lawsuits since May 14, 2024 (and 68 total lawsuits since August 2022). He is represented by Mars Khaimov Law, PLLC, which has filed nearly 1,500 similar lawsuits.
  • Espinal has filed nine lawsuits in 2024 (and 51 total lawsuits since April 2023). She is represented by Gottlieb & Associates, which has filed more than 1,800 similar lawsuits.
  • Reid has filed 14 lawsuits since September 2023 (and 66 total lawsuits since November 2022). She is represented by Shaked Law Group, PC, which has filed more than 1,200 similar lawsuits in federal court and, recently, approximately 100 more in New York State courts. 

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.

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 & Complex Trials Practice Areas or Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team.

The Labor & Employment Podcast is an award-winning biweekly Barclay Damon Live presentation that keeps you updated on all things employees. Our Barclay Damon hosts and their guests discuss state and federal anti-harassment and discrimination laws; wage and hour and misclassification audits; onboarding, disciplining, and offboarding employees; enforcing restrictive covenants; and other topics of interest to employers. Click here to watch or listen to the Labor & Employment Podcast, and click here to watch or listen to Barclay Damon’s other award-winning podcast series, Cyber Sip™.
 

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