November 2020Monthly Website Accessibility Lawsuit Recap

Key takeaways

  • 140 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in November, down 25% from October.
  • Consumer goods industry continues its trend as the most-targeted.
  • New York had the most lawsuits for the seventh consecutive month.
  • WCAG 2.1 continues as the most-referenced standard in plaintiff complaints.

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Monthly Lawsuit Recap

Lawsuits by Most-Targeted Industries

Consumer Goods

29% (41)

Food products

19% (26)

Apparel

16% (22)

Pet products

5% (7)

Beverages

5% (7)

Consumer Goods no longer shares the top spot with Food Products as it did in October, during which both industries were targeted with 38 lawsuits apiece. In November, despite fewer cases being filed overall, Consumer Goods jumped up to 41, while Food Products dipped to 26.

Almost 30% of cases filed in November were in the Consumer Goods industry. Apparel continues to be steadily subjected to accessibility lawsuits as well, staying in the top-three.

Lawsuit Filings per State

New York State Flag

New York

84% (117)
California state flag

California

11% (16)
Florida state flag

Florida

4% (6)
Pennsylvania state flag

Pennsylvania

<1% (1)

New York remains on top for the seventh straight month as 117 web accessibility lawsuits were filed in the Empire State during the month of November, representing over 80% of lawsuits nationwide. California returns to the number-two spot, but still far behind New York, the current epicenter of web accessibility lawsuits.

Accessibility Standards Specified

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the most popular and respected digital accessibility standards.

Out of 140 lawsuits, 91 specifically cite a lack of WCAG 2.1 compliance, 44 cite WCAG 2.0, and one cites Section 508. While WCAG 2.0 was the prevailing standard in 2019, 2020 lawsuits have shown that WCAG 2.1 is the new standard in plaintiff complaints.

  • WCAG 2.0 was published in 2008 and was the industry standard for a full decade.
  • WCAG 2.1 was published in 2018 and is now considered the industry standard. This latest version of WCAG added to but didn't remove anything from WCAG 2.0, making it backwards-compatible with its predecessor.
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a key digital accessibility law, requiring federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to employees and the public.
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Plaintiffs Who Filed the Most Lawsuits

Shael Cruz was the only plaintiff this month to file more than 20 lawsuits, utilizing the law firm of Cohen & Mizrahi out of New York. Once again, all of the top-filing plaintiffs were represented by law firms in the Tri-State area, with five-of-six firms out of New York and one (Stein Saks) out of New Jersey.

Law Firms That Filed the Most Lawsuits

Gottlieb and Associates

New York

29 lawsuits filed

Cohen & Mizrahi

New York

26 lawsuits filed

Mars Khaimov Law

New York

25 lawsuits filed

Stein Saks, PLLC

New Jersey

13 lawsuits filed

Pacific Trial Attorneys

California

8 lawsuits filed

Gottlieb and Associates returned to the top spot with 29 lawsuits filed in November. As expected with New York dominating the filing numbers, most of the law firms that filed the most suits are in the Tri-State area. Only Pacific Trial Attorneys out of California break from that mold.

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