September 2020Monthly Website Accessibility Lawsuit Recap

Key takeaways

  • 215 website accessibility lawsuits were filed, the first month in 2020 with more than 200 cases.
  • Consumer goods and apparel industries remain the most targeted this year.
  • New York had more lawsuits than every other state combined.
  • WCAG 2.1 is the most-referenced standard in plaintiff complaints.

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Monthly Lawsuit Recap

Lawsuits by Most-Targeted Industries

Consumer Goods

47% (101)

Apparel

13% (28)

Hotel, restaurant and leisure

9% (19)

Food products

6% (12)

Professional services

5% (10)

The Consumer Goods and Apparel industries have been in the top-two spots every month this year. This is the third straight month that Consumer Goods has gotten the top spot and the first time it passed 100 lawsuits.

Apparel remained steady as the second-most targeted industry with 28 lawsuits, while Hotel, Restaurant, and Leisure showed a steady rate of increase.

Lawsuit Filings per State

New York State Flag

New York

57% (122)
California state flag

California

30% (65)
Florida state flag

Florida

7% (16)
Colorado state flag

Colorado

3% (7)
Connecticut state flag

Connecticut

1% (2)

New York had the highest number of lawsuits for the fifth straight month. The 122 cases filed in New York were almost double that of California, which had 65 cases in September. Florida came in a distant third with 16 cases, followed by Colorado with seven. New York had more lawsuits than every other state combined in September.

Accessibility Standards Specified

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

Out of 215 lawsuits, 109 specifically cite a lack of WCAG 2.1 compliance and 89 cite WCAG 2.0. 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.
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Plaintiffs Who Filed the Most Lawsuits

Josue Romero filed the most website accessibility lawsuits in September. His 25 cases constitute the highest number of lawsuits filed by one individual for any month this year. Four of the five plaintiffs listed here reside in New York state, and all five utilized a different law firm. Romero retained the firm of Cohen and Mizrahi LLP for all 25 of his lawsuits.

Law Firms That Filed the Most Lawsuits

Pacific Trial Attorneys

California

37 lawsuits filed

Cohen & Mizrahi

New York

27 lawsuits filed

Gottlieb and Associates

New York

25 lawsuits filed

Mars Khaimov Law

New York

21 lawsuits filed

Stein Saks, PLLC

New Jersey

19 lawsuits filed

The 37 lawsuits filed by Pacific Trial Attorneys in California were the most suits filed by a single firm in any one month this year. Three of firms listed here are based in New York, which is not surprising given the prominence of cases filed in New York. The five firms listed also filed the most lawsuits in August.

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