KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past two years, there has been an increase in claims alleging companies' websites are not accessible to the disabled, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Companies are now looking at their options to fight the claims and increase website accessibility.
"The Carlson Lynch law firm has sent out hundreds of letters to companies alleging that their websites fail to comply with the ADA," explained Bill Boeck, Senior Vice President for Lockton Companies. "Interestingly, the letters do not identify the individuals who could not access the company's website, nor do they identify the disabilities possessed by those individuals."
Although these letters encourage companies to settle, many turn down that offer, resulting in lawsuits. For some companies, the costs from these legal claims could be covered by insurance. However, settlement costs would likely not be covered.
Companies that want to avoid these claims altogether should consider increasing accessibility of their websites to comply with the ADA's regulations.
To help identify the key areas of these claims, Boeck's newest white paper, "The Scourge of Website ADA Claims," outlines six items detailing the consequences companies could face if their websites are noncompliant with the ADA:
- The Allegations in the Claims
- Responses to the Claims
- Insurance Coverage for Website ADA Claims
- Managing the Risk of Website ADA Claims
- Problems Outside the US
- Next Steps
"While the US Department of Justice takes the position that the ADA applies to all websites, no regulations have been issued that would establish a legal standard for what constitutes adequate accessibility," said Boeck.
Currently, the claims are regarding the accessibility of websites, but companies should prepare for the likelihood that these lawsuits will carry over into mobile apps as well.
More than 6,000 professionals at Lockton provide 48,000 clients around the world with risk management, insurance, employee benefits consulting, and retirement services that improve their businesses. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, Lockton has attracted entrepreneurial professionals who have driven its growth to become the largest privately held, independent insurance broker in the world and 10th largest overall. For seven consecutive years, Business Insurance magazine has recognized Lockton as a "Best Place to Work in Insurance." To see the latest insights from Lockton's experts, check Lockton Market Update.
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