News10NBC: One man, 18 months, 124 ADA lawsuits over websites

GENEVA, N.Y. (WHEC) — On Monday, one of the most exclusive wineries in the Finger Lakes got sued because of its website.

The person suing Belhurst Estate Winery in Geneva is also suing 124 other places, and it’s all because of their websites. 

The plaintiff’s name is Thomas Olsen. He is blind and lives in Brooklyn. 

The lawsuit says the winery’s website isn’t set up to let Olsen use his technology and read the website and therefore it stops him “from visiting defendants’ hotel.”

News10NBC found out the plaintiffs and their lawyers target one industry after another. 

It started with suing art galleries because their websites violated the terms of the Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Then colleges and universities got hit. Nazareth College, RIT and almost 50 other schools got sued. 

And now, it looks like the next target is the restaurant industry. 

“First it asks me if I’m 21 or older,” said John Urlaub, owner of Rohrbach Brewery. 

He says when he heard about this trend of suing over websites last year, he contacted his web provider. 

John Urlaub, Rohrbach Brewery owner: “We went to them right away and said, ‘whatever it takes please get us in compliance.'”

Federal records show, since January of 2018, Mr. Olsen has filed 124 lawsuits just like this. 

His lawyers’ firm have filed more than 400. 

Tom Stebbins, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York: “And one thing we’ve seen is so many of these seem to be lawyer-driven. They’re not driven necessarily to provide access. They’re driven to get money for the lawyers.”

View the full story here.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *