Will Apps Become the Next Disability Lawsuit Target?


Frank C. Morris, Jr., a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employee Benefits practices and Co-Chair of the Firm’s ADA and Public Accommodations Group, authored an article in TechCrunch titled “Will Apps Become the Next Disability Lawsuit Target?”

Following is an excerpt:

While the tsunami of website accessibility investigations and cases continues to rise, a new wave of claims may be about to confront the apps of many organizations. It is rare today that businesses, including healthcare and life sciences companies, as well as cultural institutions and other nonprofits, do not tout the availability of information and transactions that can be accessed and performed through an app. Indeed, special benefits are often offered to those who “download our app.”

As apps, including those for telehealth and other businesses, continue to proliferate and evolve, it is highly likely that the ADA claims plaguing websites will boldly attempt to go to the newer frontier of apps. Insight into potential disability claims against apps may already be seen in DOJ settlements, such as with online grocer Peapod and H&R Block, which have required making an app accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision. Claims against apps, however, will have to overcome a legal argument that apps as a cyberspace phenomenon are not covered by the ADA.