David Baris Authored a Law360 Article, "ADA Compliance for Financial Institutions In The Crosshairs"
Law360David Baris, Margo H.K. Tank, Lori J. Sommerfield
During the second half of 2016, numerous financial institutions of all sizes began receiving demand letters from plaintiffs firms representing disabled individuals and seeking settlements for violations of website accessibility standards related to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.). These demand letters follow on the heels of similar demand letters sent to retail establishments, restaurants, hotels and other businesses during the past two to three years.
As discussed below, these demand letters continue a recent trend of stepped up enforcement of the ADA by the U.S. Department of Justice and private plaintiffs against companies to increase access to digital platforms, such as websites and mobile applications, for disabled individuals. Through its enforcement actions, the DOJ has clearly taken the position that Title III covers access to websites, online tools and mobile applications of public accommodations. The demand letter tactic poses an additional ADA enforcement method that carries increased regulatory, enforcement and litigation risks for financial institutions.