A supermarket chain that inaccesses the website to the blind person did not violate Americans with disabilities, which the Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling in a split opinion that did not list websites in public shelters subject to the law.
Florida-based Vin-Dixie Stores Inc., Juan Carlos Gill, Jacksonville’s visually impaired customer, has no screen reader software compatible with its website, suing the chain in U.S. District Court in Miami Juan Carlos Gill v. Win-Dixie Stores, Inc.
The lower court refused to dismiss the case and the 2-1 judgment was quashed by the appellate court panel.
The majority commented that the legal language in ADA Title III, which defines “public accommodation”, is vague and explicit. “It describes twelve types of accommodation that are public accommodation.
“All of these types of places listed are concrete, physical places. Abstract places or places like websites are not listed. நடவடிக்கை Congress action to expand the definition of ‘public shelters’ to include websites, we cannot extend ADA liability for the facts provided to us here.”
The appellate court vacated the lower court judgment and remanded the case for further action.
Visually impaired customers of Win-Dixie were “treated differently than its visually impaired customers and denied the full and equal enjoyment of the services, offers and benefits offered by Win-Dixie Stores.
“I consider this substandard treatment to be disability discrimination.”
Mr. David Ferleger’s Law Office in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Gill’s attorney, David Ferleger, said in a statement that the decision was in conflict with other federal appeals court decisions. The first court ruling in the country was handed down following an inquiry into the ADA website access issue.
“This is a sad but temporary loss of the civil rights of the disabled,” the statement said. “The key decision of the 11th circuit effectively closes the doors of the Internet to the blind. The blind have lost the ADA. We are currently awaiting a review of this decision in the Supreme Court of the United States and will make a final decision soon.”
Vin-Dixie’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
More and more courts are ruling against companies over the website access issue, while the number of cases filed against them is growing dramatically.