Blind Mans’ Bluff

January 21, 2020

What would you do if you were sued by a person who wasn’t able to access your website?

What would you do if you were advised in the lawsuit that this person’s inability to access your website is due to his being blind?

Yep, we got this claim in to our office, and our client was simply flabbergasted and dumbfounded, not to mention thoroughly upset.

As always, we first scoured the insurance program that we had structured to make a coverage determination, and whether the underwriter intended to cover this circumstance or had even known about this exposure, for this insured this is a covered claim.

We had counsel assigned and in talking with the attorney, I learned that he is aware of over 600 similar plaintiff actions, with the plaintiffs’ position being that the same type of standard applicable under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act),which requires certain physical accommodations, should also apply to websites. The intent is to force website operators to add on software that provides audio to their website. Also, of the more than 600 actions so far, there is no specific type of industry targeted as defendants.

What to do: 1. Assess your current program for coverage relating to this issue. 2. Consider actually making your website accessible, and a statement on your website stating that you are in that process may allow you to avoid being a target of this, or put you in an improved legal position should you not be so fortunate.

We can help on both items. Unfortunately, and as a reminder, just because you don’t want or are unable to serve this plaintiff market is not a defense.

Ping me on the calendar below and let’s talk. Thank you for reading.

Dan Gilligan, CEO Paradigm Insurance Services, LLC

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