I have a Shopify Store and I've just been sued under the ADA (Gathers v. Wet Shaving Products LLC)

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Tourist
9 0 2

My "company" consists of 2.5 people. They're basically suing "pop". But the website was apparently not compliant.

 

I'm being sued in Federal court for the District of Mass.

 

The specific deficiencies were: search bar icon in header not accessible using screen reader tech (no alternative text for the icon) and;

 

Newsletter signup requires a captcha. "There is no way for a screen reader user to sign up or use any form that has a CAPTCHA"

 

This is getting really bad, if I've been targetted, we all can be targetted.

 

Does anyone have the contact information for Shopify's legal team?

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I just got "served" yesterday as well! We're small, too (2 people total). We're being sued in CA based on the Unruh Act. I know the federal guidelines don't apply to companies smaller than 15 people (https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10900-ada-website-requirements.html?fbclid=IwAR0i7kj6EdwDPwqvY7Ltt...). I would love to talk to someone from Shopify about this as well!

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Tourist
9 0 2

Are you actually located in California? Their long arm statute isn't as broad as Massachussetts.

 

The legal team has not responded and shopify's customer service hasn't been great, but if you badger them enough on facebook, they give out the email.

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New Member
2 0 2

We just got sued and are also a super small store.  It looks like they even paid $400 to file in a district court of NY and we are in HI.

Did any of you find a resolution to this?  There looks like there are apps that we can add on to make it compliant?

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email me...cassy@fatco.com...i'd love to explain what happened with us...
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Tourist
9 0 2

Shopify didn't want to take any responsibility.

The best defense is mootness. See the kroger case.

Your resolution will depend on how much money you have since this is essentially a shakedown.

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I felt the same way...frustrated with shopify...but in the end, when I
really learned more about it, I realized that it's somewhat out of
Shopify's control. It has alot to do with what colors you're using on your
site, and using alt text for photos (which I always ignored)...and shopify
has no control over most of that.

In the end, I contacted the plaintiff's attorney and told them that we were
in the process of making all the necessary fixes to our site (which I did
do with the help of my web developer) and that we were a small family owned
business (which is true) and they decided to dismiss the case. There are
lots of tools available to check your web pages for compliance, and now I
do that quarterly. I use
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/wave-evaluation-tool/jbbplnpkjmmeebjpijfedlgcdilocofh



My main beef is with the fact that these lawsuits are able to be brought
before a court before the company was even contacted. We NEVER received
anything before being served...no email, no phone call...NOTHING asking us
to make changes to our site to make it compliant...just BOOM, a Lawsuit.

I do agree that these are BS, frivolous lawsuits...but everyone's situation
is different. It sucked, and was super stressful...both my husband and I
had many sleepless nights...I was scared to death that it would put us
under. I definitely popped some bubbly when we found out it was going to be
dismissed!!!
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New Member
2 0 0

Just stumble upon this thread, so wait a minute, should I shutdown my site until this fixes are done ???  I don't want to just get served. Please advise 

 

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New Member
2 0 2

I am sorry you were sued.  We were served a couple months ago and are still dealing with it.  Ironically, we were in the middle of changing our entire website to be compliant during the stay at home order.  They happened to come during our transition.  We are a small family owned business struggling like everyone else to get through this time.  We had to hire a lawyer, sent a letter to try to dismiss explaining that we are small and can't afford a lawsuit like this.  They didn't care.  It is a shakedown.  We researched the law firm suing us and came across this article about them:

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-ada-blind-website-accessibility-20180913-story.html

What I want to know is how someone in NY could stumble across our Hawaii brand and want to shop our website on the other side of the country.  We dug further and he has been suing random websites left and right.  All small mom & pop businesses.  

To answer your question, we did not shut down our site since it was our only revenue during the retail shutdowns here.  Talk about kicking us when we're down! We had engaged a company to skin our site to be ADA accessible.  They were easy to use and completed the fix in about 24-48 hours. 

We are just praying that our settlement won't kill us.  Good luck and I really hope this racket stops.  

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New Member
1 0 0

We just found out that we're being sued in a CLASS ACTION suit in NY for this.  We haven't even been served but have received emails from lawyers wanting to represent us.  (It feels like a money grab on both ends). We added the code to be compliant.  I would really like any guidance on how to best approach this issue.

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