By Minh N. Vu
Seyfarth Synopsis: One of the most famous accessibility lawsuits of all time finally settles before trial under terms that may never be known.
After six hard-fought years in litigation at every level of the federal judicial system — including the Supreme Court — the parties in what may be the most famous website accessibility lawsuit of all time have reached a settlement, according to a Notice of Settlement filed with the district court on June 6, 2022. We do not know, and may never know, the terms of that resolution. The Notice does not indicate what form the resolution will take, or whether it will be confidential.
What were the highlights and takeaways from six years of litigation, in our opinion?
- The Ninth Circuit issued a decision reversing the district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit in a decision that we analyzed in a prior post. That decision is binding precedent in the Ninth Circuit.
- The Supreme Court declined review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Our blog post on this decision is here.
- On remand from the Ninth Circuit, the district court granted Robles’ motion for summary judgment about Domino’s website, finding that it was not fully accessible. In that decision, the court also concluded that a telephone line that requires a 45 minute wait is not a substitute for an accessible website. Our analysis of that decision is here.
- The parties undoubtedly racked up substantial fees for six years of litigation at three different courts for a case that likely could have been settled at the outset for a modest amount of money. This is the conundrum that every business faces when dealing with a website accessibility lawsuit.
From our perspective, legal guidance from the courts, especially at the appellate level, is always a good thing and this case certainly added to the ever growing body of law on website accessibility.