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Law Firm Targeting Colleges Alleging ADA Noncompliant Websites

Many colleges and universities are dealing with threatened litigation from a Pennsylvania law firm relating to claims that their websites are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Essentially, the claimants in these cases assert that the websites are not accessible by visual or hearing impaired individuals.

ADA standards for websites have yet to be fully established, and as a result, some institutions have not yet modified their websites to accommodate users with disabilities.  The claimants, all represented by the same law firm, seek to negotiate a settlement with the targeted institutions.  The proposed settlement consists of a cash settlement and an agreement to modify the website to permit the use of the website by disabled individuals.

If your institution is contacted by a law firm claiming to represent such claimants, you should seek counsel promptly.  There are significant issues concerning whether these claimants have the requisite standing to assert claims under the ADA.  Importantly, before facing threatened litigation, institutions should evaluate their websites to ensure that they are accessible by individuals with disabilities.  Ensuring compliance with recognized accessibility standards will reduce, if not eliminate, an institution’s exposure for such disability discrimination claims.

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About this Author

Zachary D. Bombatch, Steptoe Johnson, Employment Compliance Lawyer, Higher education Attorney
Associate

Zachary Bombatch focuses his practice in the areas of labor and employment law and general litigation.  In his practice, he counsels clients on compliance with federal and state employment laws and advocates on their behalf in disputes arising under them.  He is also a member of the firm’s Higher Education Team.  Zachary is particularly prepared to assist clients as he relies upon both his business and legal education that focused on employment law, human resources management, and organizational behavior.   

(724) 749-3133
Susan Deniker, labor and employment law, litigation, and education law attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Member

Susan Deniker focuses her practice in the areas of labor and employment law, litigation, and education law. Ms. Deniker's practice includes state and federal court cases, as well as cases before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Ms. Deniker is leader of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Key Experience

  • Defended a client in a class action litigation involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Represented numerous clients in actions before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other state human rights commissions on behalf of employers
  • Negotiated pre-suit settlements for clients in sensitive employment matters Defended client against 23 FLSA actions
  • Assisted local college with negotiating and drafting an international nursing program agreement with a foreign university
  • Assisted clients in Department of Labor investigations
304-933-8154
Jim Newberry, Government Relations, Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Member

Jim Newberry focuses his practice in the areas of higher education, government relations, and regulatory matters.  He recently served as Mayor of Lexington and has extensive leadership experience in the equine industry, legal service industry, state government and higher education.  Mr. Newberry is leader of the firm's Higher Education Team and serves as the Managing Member of the firm's Louisville, Kentucky office.

(859) 219-8226