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2023 Web Accessibility Lawsuit Trends

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Web accessibility lawsuits are a core driver for companies to take web accessibility seriously in the United States. In this blog post, learn the latest web ADA lawsuit trends through the end of 2023.

Web Accessibility Lawsuits by Year

The number of digital accessibility lawsuits filed has continued to increase every year since 2017. Over 4,600 web accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2023:

The number of web accessibility lawsuits has continued to increase year over year from 814 in 2017 to 4,605 in 2023.

2023 Web Accessibility Lawsuits by State

The vast majority of web accessibility lawsuits continued to be filed in New York, California, and Florida. It is easier to file web accessibility lawsuits in New York because the courts only require that a business have customers in New York. This contrasts with California, where the courts ruled in 2022 that only businesses with a physical location or nexus in California could be sued there.

Breakdown of web accessibility lawsuits by state in 2023: 67% New York, 13% California, 10% Florida, 1% New Jersey, 9% other.

2023 Web Accessibility Lawsuits by Industry

Unsurprisingly, e-Commerce companies continue to be the hardest hit by web accessibility lawsuits. Food service and education sectors are also notable.

Breakdown of web accessibility lawsuit by industry in 2023: 82% eCommerce, 7% food service, 5% other, 4% education, 1% travel/hospitality, 1% fitness & wellness, 1% entertainment & leisure.

Web Accessibility Widgets Do Not Protect Against Lawsuits

Web accessibility widgets or overlays such as AccessiBe and UserWay are highly problematic. The number of cases and the percentage of cases filed against companies using these types of tools continues to increase year over year. In 2023, a record one in five cases were filed against companies using a web accessibility widget.

In 2023, the number of lawsuits against companies using web accessibility widgets increased to 933, which was 20% of all web accessibility cases that year.

Other Notable Trends from the 2023 Digital Accessibility Lawsuits

  • Risk of multiple lawsuits
    25% of the cases filed are against companies hit with previous digital accessibility lawsuits (up from 19% in 2022)
  • Small businesses are not spared
    73% of the cases filed were against companies with an annual revenue of less than $25M.
  • Risk is high for large retailers
    82% of the top 500 eCommerce companies have been sued since 2018.
  • Desktop websites are the main focus of accessibility lawsuits
    97% of the cases are against desktop websites. The remaining 3% are against mobile websites, videos, and mobile apps.

Web ADA Lawsuits Data Source: UsableNet. Their research team tracks and documents all digital accessibility-related lawsuits filed in federal courts under ADA and in state courts in New York and California.

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