Pacific Trial Attorneys Targets Bloggers Under California Unruh Act

As 2020 moves forward, I continue to receive more and more emails from people who have received a demand letter from Pacific Trial Attorneys, claiming that their website discriminates against persons with disabilities.

Scott Ferrell is listed as the lawyer on the demand letters.

Pacific Trial Attorneys typically is not making claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but California’s Unruh Act.

The Unruh Act runs parallel to the ADA in terms of requiring non-discrimination but provide for plaintiffs to capture damages beyond attorney’s fees.

I’ve increasingly heard from not retailers, not restaurants, not banks but from mom bloggers with moderately successful blogs on WordPress (the platform does not matter, a website using any blogging or website builder platform can be sued).

They write me looking for quick and cheap options to make their websites fully accessible but a solution is neither cheap nor lightening quick.

Understandably, these small business owners are frustrated as market prices are high (you’ll need an audit and remediation) and the legal landscape provides for “shakedown” type lawsuits.

Most people only talk to me after they receive a demand letter or lawsuit.  I feel for them.  At that point, there aren’t any overly appealing options I can provide.

Any entity should be proactive if they’re aware of web accessibility lawsuits but especially small business owners are they impacted disproportionately hard when they receive that ugliest of letters in the mail.