The Supreme Court passed on reviewing a case from the pizza chain Monday, which questioned whether it has to make its website and mobile app accessible for people with disabilities.
This decision is a victory for blind people and those with limited vision who need to access websites and apps easily as any sighted person. The decision could additionally inspire others to sue retailers to ensure their websites and mobile apps are accessible.
The case referred to Domino’s Pizza LLC. v. Guillermo Robles, began when a blind man, Guillermo Robles, sued Domino’s in 2016 after he was unable to order food from the pizza chain utilizing screen reading technology. His attorneys cited the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination towards people with disabilities.
The U.S. Court of Appeals toward the 9th Circuit agreed with Robles, arguing under the ADA that customers should be able to access “the services of public accommodation.” In this case, meaning Domino’s website and mobile app.
The pizza chain, however, argued that the ADA should not apply to online spaces.
Domino’s needed the Supreme Court to evaluate the 9th Circuit’s decision; however, as a result of it won’t, the lower court’s ruling will remain in place.
Christina Brandt-Young, managing attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, informed Mashable that the ADA should certainly include websites. “The ADA always utilized to effective communication between companies and their customers, and that is what Domino’s uses its websites to communicate with its customers.”
Predictably, Domino’s is upset with the Supreme Court’s decision.
Since Domino’s needs to keep fighting, it will have to do so in the lower courts. While Brandt-Young says it is unlikely that Domino’s would bring this case back to the Supreme Court, she believes the Supreme Court could take up another, similar situation in the future. If differing judicial opinions arise, then the Supreme Court might reconsider and take up the case in the future.
This is not the first incident that companies have come under fire over their allegedly inaccessible websites. Because the Wall Street Journal reported, over 240 businesses within the U.S. have been sued over this concern since the starting of 2015.
While many of these companies settled, Domino’s appears to be bracing itself for the long run.