Removing Barriers Blog

Ninth Circuit Rules on ADA-related Case
Posted January 18, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Guillermo Robles v. Dominos Pizza LLC, a case involving the ADA as it relates to website accessibility.

In the opinion, the court held that Dominos' website and mobile application are places of public accommodation subject to the ADA. The Court also found that Dominos had received fair notice that its website was required to comply with the ADA even absent the promulgation of specific rules or guidance on the topic. And lastly, the Court affirmed that courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate ADA website suits even as DOJ progresses in its rulemaking process.

However, in its decision, the Ninth Circuit did not address at all the questions of standing to bring an ADA lawsuit. Unlike credit unions with restricted fields of membership, anyone can take advantage of Dominos’ services: ordering a pizza.  In addition, the case reaffirms the Ninth Circuit’s view, shared by other circuits, that a place of public accommodation must be a physical place.  It would appear, under this reasoning, a website claim is only actionable if the deficiency in the website interferes with a customer’s ability to access the goods and services of a physical location.

CUNA will continue our efforts to put pressure on DOJ and relevant policy makers in support of the promulgation of clear website accessibility rules and/or guidance to bring an end to the trend of frivolous ADA lawsuits.