Oct 7, 2019

Supreme Court allows blind people to sue retailers for inaccessible websites

A Domino's shop.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court turned down an appeal from Domino's Pizza on the first day of its new term on Monday, allowing a lower-court ruling to stand that allows blind people to sue Domino's and other restaurants and stores for having inaccessible websites.

The big picture: Guillermo Robles, a blind man, sued Domino's three years ago for not hosting accessibility software that would allow him to order a pizza online. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public accommodations must provide "full and equal enjoyment of the goods and services" to people with disabilities, including the blind.

  • Domino's argued the ADA protects the blind in-store but not online.
  • Domino's had filed the appeal to the Supreme Court in hopes of overturning a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The Supreme Court issued a "certiorari denied" on Monday, meaning they declined to hear the case and the previous ruling stands.

What they're saying:

"The ADA mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino’s, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind."
— 9th Circuit's ruling in January

Of note: The Supreme Court could still choose to pick up the appeal at a later date.

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