The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Domino’s Pizza, clearing the way for a lawsuit filed by a blind man alleging the chain’s website and mobile app were not accessible to people with disabilities.
The decision left intact a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Domino’s must defend itself against a lawsuit alleging its website and app didn’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“The alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises,” the three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based court wrote.
The ADA has aimed to ensure people with disabilities have access to goods and services in stores and “public accommodations.”
In a statement, Domino’s executives said they were “disappointed that the Supreme Court will not review this case, we look forward to presenting our case at the trial court.”
Guillermo Robles said in the suit filed three years ago in Los Angeles that he had been unable to order a pizza because Domino’s website lacked a reading software he used on other sites, Bloomberg reported.
He argued he was unable to order a pizza without the software he normally used. It worked only when a website’s graphics had “alt-text,” a description of the image that appeared on the screen when a cursor floated over it.
Without it, Robles said he was unable to order a customized pizza or use discounts offered exclusively online. Domino’s argued the law applied to its store but not its website.
The ADA “does not demand full accessibility for each and every means of accessing the goods or services a public accommodation provides to the public,” the company argued in its appeal. What matters was the “combined means of access to those goods or services,” executives said.
Trade groups said they’ve seen an increase in lawsuits alleging websites were not ADA-compliant.