A supermarket chain whose website is inaccessible to a visually impaired person does not violate the U.S. Disability Act, which does not list sites that are among the public housing sites that are subject to the law, a federal appeals court said in a split opinion Wednesday that overturned a court decision.
Juan Carlos Gil, a visually impaired, longtime customer of Jacksonville, Florida-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., whose website does not have compatible screen reader software, sued the chain in the U.S. District Court in Miami, accusing it of infringing v. ADA, according to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta's judgment in Juan Carlos Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
The lower court refused to dismiss the case and is set aside by an appeals panel in a decision of 2-1
"The statutory language in Title III of the ADA that defines 'public housing' is unambiguous," the majori statement said. "It describes twelve types of places that are public housing.
" All of these listed types of places are tangible, physical places. No intangible sites or spaces, such as websites, are listed. … Absent congressional measures that broaden the definition of "public housing sites" to include websites, we can not extend the ADA responsibility to the facts presented to us here.
The dissenting opinion stated that Winn-Dixie's visually impaired customers "were treated differently from the visually impaired customers and denied the full and equal enjoyment of services, privileges and benefits offered by Winn-Dixie Stores.
"I would consider this inferior treatment to constitute discrimination on the grounds of disability."
"This is a sad but temporary loss of civil rights for people with disabilities," the statement said. "Landmark decision of the 11th Circuit." 11th District Court decision was the first in the country to follow a trial on the accessibility of the ADA website. effectively closes the Internet's doors for the blind. The blind have lost the ADA. We are currently awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court's review of this decision and will make a final decision soon. "
Winn-Dixie's attorney did not respond to a request for comment
More courts rule against companies in question on accessibility of websites, while the number of lawsuits against them continues to increase dramatically. Catalog