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The disability lawsuits started hitting the Pittsburgh federal courthouse last July, all claiming corporations’ websites violated the law by not being accessible to the blind. The first round came against household names such as Foot Locker Inc., Toys “R” Us, Brooks Brothers Group Inc., and the National Basketball Association. Later suits targeted lesser-known retailers including Family Video Movie Club Inc. and Rue21 Inc.
All told, about 40 nearly identical cases have landed in front of the same federal judge, Arthur Schwab, all brought by one local law firm, Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter LLP.
Nationwide, more than 240 businesses have been sued in federal court since the start of 2015, concerning allegedly inaccessible websites, according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Most settle quickly, for between $10,000 and $75,000, lawyers involved say, with the money typically going toward plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and expenses.