Seyfarth Synopsis: A recent order from the Eleventh Circuit signals that the court is seriously considering a rehearing in Gil v. Winn-Dixie.
As previously reported, the Eleventh Circuit made waves recently overturning a 2018 Florida federal court’s trial verdict ruling that Winn Dixie’s inaccessible website violated the ADA. On April 15, the plaintiff filed a Petition for Rehearing en banc, arguing that the issues in the case are of exceptional importance and that, inter alia, the panel deviated from prior Eleventh Circuit precedent in rejecting the “nexus” standard. On April 22, counsel for numerous advocacy groups including the National Federation of the Blind, National Council on Independent Living, and National Association of the Deaf, filed a motion for leave to file amicus briefs in support of the rehearing. Yesterday, May 20, the Court ordered Winn Dixie to file a response to the Petition for Rehearing by June 1. The Court noted its particular interest in Winn Dixie’s response to the plaintiff’s mootness argument — that the appeal was moot and since the actions required by the district court’s injunction had long since been complete (in the three years it took the Eleventh Circuit to hear and decide the appeal). This action by the Court signals to us that the Court is seriously considering a rehearing – as it could have otherwise simply denied the Petition without hearing Winn Dixie’s position. We’ll keep you posted.