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A man holding a printed version of Usablenet's 2023 Year-End Web and App Lawsuit Report
ADA Compliance

The Top-9 findings from Usablenet's 2023 Year-End Web and App Lawsuit Report

Rich Emanuel photo
Richard Emanuel
Post Published:
December 21, 2023
Post Updated:
January 10, 2024

The "2023 Year-End Web and App Lawsuit Report" from UsableNet offers an enlightening overview of the evolving landscape in ADA Digital Accessibility Lawsuits. This thorough analysis delves into the critical trends and significant developments in cases involving websites, mobile apps, and video content. It provides essential insights into the dynamics of digital accessibility, highlighting key considerations for businesses and digital entities. To access the complete insights and in-depth analysis, you can download the full report here.

Here are the key highlights from this informative report:

1. Overall Lawsuit Numbers

In 2023, there were a total of 4,605 lawsuits filed for digital accessibility issues, with 33% in state courts and 67% in federal courts, indicating a significant legal focus on digital accessibility.

2. Multiple Lawsuits for Repeat Offenders

More than 700 lawsuits targeted companies that had previously faced ADA digital lawsuits, highlighting the recurring legal challenges for businesses not adhering to accessibility standards.

3. New York Leading in Lawsuits

New York was the primary location for such lawsuits, due to its less stringent requirements for filing. Companies serving customers in New York, irrespective of their physical location, were subject to these lawsuits.

4. eCommerce at the Forefront

eCommerce websites received the highest number of lawsuits, reflecting their widespread online presence and frequent changes that might lead to accessibility issues.

A Pie Chart showing eCommerce receives 82% lawsuit cases for ADA Compliance failure compared to 18% for other industries
Image courtesy of Usablenet

5. Shift to Smaller Businesses

Most lawsuits targeted companies with annual revenues under $25 million, indicating a shift in the plaintiffs’ focus towards smaller businesses.

6. Significant Focus on Large eCommerce Brands

A notable number of large eCommerce brands faced lawsuits due to their complex site functionalities and regular content updates.

7. Dominant Law Firms

The legal landscape of these lawsuits is dominated by a few law firms, with the top 10 plaintiff law firms accounting for the majority of federally filed cases.

8. Websites as Primary Targets

The majority of ADA-based digital lawsuits focused on website accessibility, underscoring the importance of website compliance with accessibility standards.

9. Challenges with Accessibility Widgets

Over 900 lawsuits involved companies using accessibility widgets or overlays, suggesting that these tools alone are insufficient in ensuring full compliance with accessibility standards.

Widget lawsuits: Jan 59; Feb 60; Mar 82; Apr 78; May 57; Jun 113; Jul 80; Aug 101; Sep 72; Oct 92; Nov 60. Dec (proj.): 79.
Image courtesy of Usablenet

In summary, the "2023 Year-End Web and App Lawsuit Report" by UsableNet provides an invaluable analysis of the trends in ADA Digital Accessibility Lawsuits, specifically targeting websites, mobile apps, and video content. The report highlights several key findings: a significant number of lawsuits filed, the recurrent targeting of companies previously sued for accessibility issues, the prominent role of New York in these lawsuits, and the particular vulnerability of eCommerce sites.

It also points out the shift in focus towards smaller businesses, the challenges faced by large eCommerce brands, the dominance of a few law firms in these cases, the primary focus on website accessibility, and the limitations of accessibility widgets in ensuring compliance. This report is a crucial resource for understanding the current state of digital accessibility and the legal implications for businesses. For a comprehensive understanding of these trends and to inform future digital accessibility strategies, the full report can be downloaded from Usablenet's website.

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