LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Disability advocates scored a win after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Los Angeles case alleging Domino’s Pizza had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with its website and mobile app.
Guillermo Robles, a blind man, had brought the original case against Domino’s in Los Angeles federal court in September 2016, alleging he was unable to order food on Domino’s website and mobile app despite screen-reading software. He contended that on at least two occasions he unsuccessfully attempted to order online a customized pizza from a nearby Domino’s.
Robles’ lawsuit asked for damages and injunctive relief based on Domino’s alleged failure to “design, construct, maintain and operate its (website and app) to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Mr. Robles and other blind or visually-impaired people,” in violation of the ADA.
Title III of the ADA says buildings open to the public, such as restaurants, must be accessible to people with disabilities. Domino’s lawyers had argued that the ADA, which was written in 1990, did not address online spaces.
A California federal judge had dismissed the lawsuit, but a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found last year that the “alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises.” Domino’s had hoped to challenge the decision before the U.S. Supreme Court’s, but the high court declined, allowing the finding to stand, a victory for disability advocates.
That’s not the end of the case, however. The appeals court’s decision sends the lawsuit back down to the lower court, and while Domino’s said it was disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, it looked forward to presenting its case at trial.
“We also remain steadfast in our belief in the need for federal standards for everyone to follow in making their websites and mobile apps accessible,” according to the company, which says it already has an accessible website, app, and other ways for customers to connect with the pizzeria, including its own voice-ordering digital assistant, Dom, and a 24-7 hotline for anyone having difficulty using the site.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)