Cyber Insurance Blog

ADA Lawsuits: Could Your Clients Face Discrimination Claims over their Website?

ADA Lawsuits: Could Your Clients Face Discrimination Claims over their Website?

Close up of a blind person’s hands utilizing computer keyboard braille.While your clients may think they’re covered, many business owners aren’t aware of the wide range of liability claims and lawsuits that can be pursued against them. In our highly litigious society, uninsured lawsuits can pose a serious financial risk. The Americans with Disabilities Act (also known as the ADA) prohibits businesses and organizations from discriminating “against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.” Any organization that does not appropriately comply with these regulations could be at risk.

While most of us have become familiar with ADA compliance for brick and mortar locations, many organizations are now entirely online, leaving many businesses exposed –– whether they’re aware or not. Does your client’s website accommodate the hearing or visually impaired? Further, does their mobile version or app do the same? In order to protect your clients from these potential exposures, insurance coverage for ADA claims is now a must.

Examples of ADA Lawsuits

While some business owners may feel like they’re in the dark, these lawsuits are incredibly common. Whether it’s for a mental or physical disability, a party alleging violations against your client’s organization could bring significant financial damages, including defense costs.
Here are some examples of discrimination claims brought on due to lack of ADA compliance:

A young woman who is blind sits at a computer working on a keyboard for the visually impaired. National Association of the Deaf v. Harvard; NAD v. MIT
This lawsuit was filed by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and four deaf and hard of hearing individuals who charged the school with discriminating against deaf and hard of hearing people by “failing to caption the vast and varied array of online content they make available to the general public.”

This matter was ultimately settled with a number of strict conditions for the defendants, which included paying the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees of $1,575,000.

National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix, Inc.
This lawsuit was filed when Netflix was accused of “failing to provide adequate close captioning on “Watch Instantly” streaming video programming.” This matter was settled with an agreement in which Netflix would ensure that conforming captions would be made available on 100% of their content by a specific time period. In addition, they agreed to pay the Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees in the amount of $755,000.
Close up of a blind person’s hands using an audio book player.
Robles v. Dominos
This lawsuit was filed when a blind man named Guillermo Robles was unable to order food on the Domino’s website and mobile app despite using screen-reading software. This lawsuit is still ongoing but to date, the court ruled that “lack of precise rules governing how companies must make their websites accessible doesn’t get Domino’s off the hook.”
These lawsuits and discrimination claims can be made against industries of all kinds, including both large corporations and small businesses. While it’s important for your clients to proactively work towards ADA compliance for all online services, it’s impossible to anticipate every type of claim that could be brought forth.

Insurance Coverage for ADA Claims: Employment Practice Liability Insurance

An EPL policy, or Employment Practice Liability policy, is a type of general liability policy that protects employers against claims of alleged discrimination (in addition to other coverages) by a customer or employee.
A hearing-impaired woman with a hearing aid sits at a desk and works on a laptop.
Among these discrimination claims, ADA compliance claims can be difficult to anticipate and costly to defend and comply with.

Your clients should look to both identify and mitigate risks to avoid potential exposure. The best way to protect themselves is to purchase an EPL insurance policy.

Finding the Best EPL Coverage

It’s highly likely that you have clients who are at risk and in need of insurance coverage for ADA claims. The process of finding them the best coverage doesn’t need to be complicated.

With ProWriters, we offer over 20 years of industry experience and we’ve streamlined our processes to create the fastest, most efficient process of locating the right policy for your clients.

To answer any questions you may have so you can provide your clients with the answers they need, contact us to speak with a ProWriters expert today. Or call us at 484-321-2335.

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