The SCOTUS Decision On Robles v. Domino’s Case Could Have a Domino Effect For Other Corporations
Last updated: 1/14/2022
The widely anticipated decision from the US Supreme Court regarding the Ninth Circuit’s Robles v. Domino’s case was announced on October 7, 2019. The Supreme Court denied a petition from pizza giant Domino’s on Monday to hear whether its website is required to be accessible to the disabled, leaving in place a lower court decision against the company. The case was originally brought by a blind man named Guillermo Robles, who sued the pizza chain after he was unable to order food on Domino’s website and mobile app despite using screen-reading software. The decision not to grant the case is a loss for the company and a win for disability advocates, who have argued that, if businesses do not have to maintain accessible sites, disabled people could be effectively shut out of substantial portions of the economy. The decision serves up a strong message to Domino’s and other corporations with an online presence. The ripple effect will most likely be felt by other US corporations with more plaintiff lawsuit filings for Title III ADA website violations.
Attorneys for Robles argued in court papers that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires businesses with physical locations to make their websites and other online platforms accessible to those with disabilities. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Robles, writing that the “alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises—which are places of public accommodation.”
Domino’s urged the Supreme Court to review the decision. By declining to do so, the court’s decision on Monday will leave the ruling in place, meaning Domino’s will have to fight Robles’s accessibility claims in court. Attorneys for Domino’s, backed by a range of business groups, had argued that the ADA does not apply to online platforms that were not envisioned when the law was passed in 1990. And, they said, no clear rules exist for how to make their platforms properly accessible.
On June 23rd, 2021 The California Central District Court granted the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement. A case five years in the making saw a ruling that was a big win for digital accessibility. Judge Jesus Bernal ruled that Domino’s violated Title III of the ADA by not providing a website that was fully accessible. The ruling claims that although their website is not in itself a place of public accommodation, an inaccessible website “impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises—which are places of public accommodation.” The court ordered Domino’s to bring their website up to compliance with WCAG 2.0 standards.
The lawsuit is one of an increasing number filed over website accessibility in recent years. In 2018, more than 2,200 such suits were filed in federal courts, according to the accessible technology firm UsableNet, nearly tripling the number a year before.
Legal Documents related to Domino’s Pizza v. Guillermo Robles
- June 13, 2019: Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due July 15, 2019)
- July 15, 2019: Brief amicus curiae of Washington Legal Foundation filed
- July 15, 2019: Brief amici curiae of Retail Litigation Center, Inc., et al. filed
- July 15, 2019: Brief amicus curiae of Cato Institute filed
- July 15, 2019: Brief amicus curiae of Restaurant Law Center filed.
- July 15, 2019: Brief amici curiae of Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. filed.
- August 14, 2019: Brief of respondent Guillermo Robles in opposition filed
- August 28, 2019: Reply of petitioner Domino’s Pizza, LLC filed. (Distributed)
- October 7, 2019: Supreme Court Order Denying Petition for Writ of Certiorari 18-1539 DOMINO’S PIZZA, LLC V. ROBLES, GUILLERMO
- June 23, 2021: Court grants Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement
UPDATE: 2021 Legal Activity
In June 2021, the California Central District Court granted the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement. A case five years in the making saw a ruling that was a big win for digital accessibility. Judge Jesus Bernal ruled that Domino’s violated Title III of the ADA by not providing a website that was fully accessible. The ruling claims that although their website is not in itself a place of public accommodation, an inaccessible website “impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises—which are places of public accommodation.” The court ordered Domino’s to bring their website into compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA standards.
June 25, 2021 – Domino’s accessibility lawsuit update – Sheri Byrne-Haber
June 25, 2021 – Another Big Win in the Domino’s Pizza Accessibility Saga – Lainey Feingold
June 25, 2021 – Court finds Domino’s Pizza Violated the ADA by Having an Inaccessible Website and Orders WCAG Compliance – Seyfarth Shaw
June 30, 2021 – Domino’s Website Violated Americans With Disabilities Act, Judge Finds – Digital News Daily
June 30, 2021 – California Federal Court Holds Domino’s Website Violates the ADA, Limits Penalties Under Unruh Act to $4,000 – Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Below is the wide coverage of the US Supreme Court decision regarding the Robles v. Domino’s case from various news outlets and blogs from across the US.
- Forbes:The Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Accessibility For The Blind, Peter Slatin
- Forbes:54% of Adults Living With a Disability Go Online, But Domino’s Pizza Is Still Fighting Change, Denise Brodley
- BBC: Where’s my pizza? Why a case about a blind man who couldn’t build his pizza online might end up in the US Supreme Court, Peter White
- Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Domino’s bid to avoid disabilities suit, Lawrence Hurley
- CNBC: Supreme Court hands victory to blind man who sued Domino’s over site accessibility, Tucker Higgins
- Bloomberg Law: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Domino’s Pizza Website Access Dispute, Alexis Kramer
- Bloomberg: Supreme Court Rejects Domino’s on Blind Man’s Website Lawsuit, Greg Stohr
- LA Times: Supreme Court allows blind people to sue retailers if their websites are not accessible, David G. Savage
- FaST CoMPANY: Domino’s Pizza was just dealt a Supreme Court blow that could reshape the ADA in the digital era, Steven Melendez
- American Council of the Blind: ACB Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Decline Appeal on Domino’s v. Robles Case
- Disability:IN: US Supreme Court Will Not Hear Domino’s Pizza Web and Mobile Accessibility Case
- Seyfarth Shaw: Supreme Court Declines to Review Ninth Circuit Decision in Robles v. Domino’s, Exposing Businesses to More Website Accessibility Lawsuits
- LF Legal: U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear the Dominos Case (Hooray!), Lainey Feingold
- LF Legal: U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Domino’s Case: Commenters Misunderstand, Lainey Feingold
- Ogletree Deakins: The Domino’s Effect—What to Expect as a Result of SCOTUS’s Denial of Cert
- Foley & Lardner: Supreme Court Rejects Invitation to Decide Whether Your Company’s Website Must Be Accessible To Individuals with Disabilities, Lori A. Rubin
- Dykema: U.S. Supreme Court Clears the way for Visually-Impaired to Sue Over Allegedly Inaccessible Websites and Apps
- Law.com: With SCOTUS Declining to Take Up Domino’s Website Accessibility Case, Lawyers Expect New Wave of ADA Suits
- ABA Journal: SCOTUS rejects pizza delivery company’s appeal over web and mobile app accessibility, Amanda Roberts
- Saul Ewing: The Supreme Court Declines to Look at Website Accessibility –At Least for Now
- USA Today: Victory for disability advocates: Supreme Court won’t hear Domino’s Pizza accessibility case
- The Hill: Disability activists notch win as Supreme Court declines case on Domino’s Pizza website accessibility
- Washington Examiner: Supreme Court rejects bid from Domino’s in dispute with blind man over website
- Crain’s: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Domino’s appeal in blind man’s lawsuit over website accessibility
- Grit Daily: Blind Man Wins Supreme Court Case Over Domino’s Pizza in Huge Gain for Accessibility Rights Online
- Computerworld: The courts have ruled: Mobile sites must be accessible. But why did enterprises ever resist?
- WSAU News: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Domino’s bid to avoid disabilities suit
- Restaurant Business: Supreme Court Hands Domino’s a Big Defeat in ADA Case
- MyNewsLA: Bad News For Domino’s Pizza: Supreme Court Disability Decision
- LongIsland: Supreme Court Delivers Defeat to Domino’s
- WP Tavern: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Domino’s Appeal to Determine Whether Websites Must Be Accessible
- The Denver Channel: US Supreme Court won’t rule on how the ADA is applied to technology. What happens next?
- ZDNet: Supreme Court lets blind man sue Domino’s over website accessibility
- Claims Journal: Supreme Court Rejects Domino’s on Blind Man’s Website Lawsuit
- Fox News: Supreme Court allows blind man’s website lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza to proceed
- Fox Business: Domino’s legal case leaves restaurant mobile apps vulnerable amidst an uncertain future
- People: Supreme Court Allows Blind Man’s Lawsuit to Proceed Against Domino’s Pizza for Online Accessibility
- PYMNTS.com: Domino’s Supreme Court Decision Spotlights Online Web Accessibility
- City News Service: Supreme Court Hands Victory to Disability Advocates in L.A. Case
- TechSpot: Blind man sues Domino’s Pizza over website accessibility
- Yahoo: Domino’s legal case leaves restaurant mobile apps vulnerable amidst an uncertain future
- Gizmodo: Supreme Court Lets Lawsuit Claiming Domino’s Website Violates Americans With Disabilities Act Proceed
- QSR: Domino’s Sees Defeat on Accessibility Issue
- Splinter: Wow, Domino’s Put a Whole Lot of Effort Into Fighting Disability Rights
- MediaPost: Domino’s Must Face Lawsuit By Blind Man Over Online Access
- Mashable: Blind man sued Domino’s over its website. Here’s what the Supreme Court had to say.
- Restaurant Dive: Domino’s ADA ruling to spur industry compliance
- Florida Courier: Court Allows the Blind to Sue Retailers if Websites Aren’t Accessible
- QSRweb: Domino’s 0, disabled 1 in Monday Supreme Court action
- Chain Store Age: Supreme Court declines to set online ADA standard
- CBS: Domino’s Petition In LA Disability Case Denied By US Supreme Court
- The Takeout: Supreme Court declines to hear Domino’s appeal of ADA-violation case
- Morning Brew: Your Honor, Your Honor: The Supreme Court Is Back in Business
- WDRB: Supreme Court allows blind man’s website lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza to proceed
- Sky Statement-1: Blind man sued Domino’s over its website. Here’s what the Supreme Court had to say.
- Sky Statement-2: SCOTUS Lets Lawsuit Claiming Domino’s Website Violates Americans With Disabilities Act Proceed
- Sky Statement-3:U.S. Supreme Court Denies Domino’s Appeal to Determine Whether Websites Must Be Accessible
- SaukValley: Supreme Court allows blind people to sue retailers if their websites are not accessible
- Daily Dot: What Domino’s Pizza got wrong about internet accessibility
- The Spoon: Domino’s Is Losing Its Legal Battle Over Website Accessibility. Good
- Credit Union Times: With SCOTUS Declining to Take Up Website Accessibility Case, Lawyers Expect New Wave of ADA Suits
- Bryan Cave: Supreme Court Denies Review in Website Accessibility Case Against Domino’s Pizza
- Klein Moynihan: Domino Effect: Will SCOTUS Refusal to Hear ADA Website Case Yield Flood of Litigation?
- OneZero: A Case Against Domino’s Reveals a Slice of the Internet’s Accessibility Issues
- Econsultancy: Website and mobile app accessibility is a priority after Supreme Court ruling
- Scoop Square24: Supreme Court allows blind people to sue retailers if their websites are not accessible
- Food & Wine: The Food Delivery Revolution Is Leaving Disabled Customers Behind
- CIO Dive: Who is responsible for digital accessibility?
- Hunton Andrews Kurth: Supreme Court Passes On a Case That Likely Would Have Clarified the Scope of the ADA Regarding Access to Private Businesses’ Virtual Platforms
- Robinson & Cole: U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case on Whether Commercial Websites and Mobile Apps Subject to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”)
- Good E-Reader: Online bookstores can be sued if they are not accessible for blind people
- Duane Morris: Supreme Court Passes on Challenge to Extension of Title III to Websites and Mobile Apps
- Akerman LLP: The Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Businesses Regarding Accessibility of Their Websites and Mobile Applications
- Dentons: Surge of website accessibility lawsuits to continue as SCOTUS declines to review Ninth Circuit decision in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza; businesses advised to take preventive measures
- Human Resource Executive: Is your careers site accessible?
- Manatt, Phelps & Phillips: Supreme Court Declines to Weigh In on Website Accessibility
- Quartz: The US Supreme Court Domino’s Pizza delivery case rejection, dished out
- BBC: Where’s my pizza?
- Locke Lord: Locke Lord QuickStudy: Supreme Court Denies Review of ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuit, Highlighting Litigation Risks to Website and App Operators
- CIO Dive: What Domino’s digital accessibility lawsuit means for compliance
- Restaurant Technology News: How Technology Can Enable Restaurant Accessibility And Inclusiveness
- Restaurant Dive: Digitization primes restaurants for growth — and ADA lawsuits
- Motley Fool: Blind Man’s Lawsuit Against Domino’s Threatens Every Website
- Michael Best & Friedrich: Supreme Court Inaction Leaves Website Accessibility Requirements Uncertain
- William D. Goren: Domino’s Cert. Denial and What Does it Mean?
- Legal News Line: Domino’s must face blind man’s suit over website after U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal
- CNBC: What makes a restaurant’s website accessible? That’s up for debate
- Burr & Forman: Website Accessibility Lawsuits – A Tangled Web
- Pryor Cashman: Key Takeaways from the Domino’s Supreme Court Ruling: What’s Changed (and What Hasn’t)
- DLA Piper- US Supreme Court denies review of Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, opening door to more lawsuits on website and mobile app accessibility claims
- Graydon Head & Ritchey- How Does the ADA Impact Your Company’s Website?
- Applause- What The Domino’s Case Means For Website Accessibility
- Otter Advisory- Pizza and how it will change the software industry for the better
- Wood Smith Henning & Berman- Supreme Court Allows Suit Over Website Accessibility
- Ars Technica- Accessibility, the future, and why Domino’s matters
- Bradley Arant Boult Cummings- Navigating ADA Compliance Issues in an Online World
- Weiner Brodsky Kider- Supreme Court Declines to Review 9th Circuit Decision Applying ADA to Websites and Mobile Apps
- Arent Fox- Domino’s Delivers a Warning Regarding Website and App Accessibility Requirements Under the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Pepper Hamilton- Supreme Court Denies Review Of ADA Website Accessibility Case, Leaving Businesses Subject To Ninth Circuit’s Guidelines
- Wired- The Internet Is for Everyone, Right? Not With a Screen Reader
- Quarles & Brady- Supreme Court’s Avoidance of Web Accessibility Bodes Increase in ADA Demands and Lawsuits
- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati- Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal on the Americans with Disabilities Act’s Applicability to Websites, Potentially Leaving Businesses Open to Suit
- Jackson Lewis- The SCOTUS Decides Not To Grant Certiorari in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza
- Mashable- Website accessibility for people with disabilities is still an issue. Here’s why.
- Mainebiz- ADA standards catch up with ecommerce, and lawsuits are on the rise
- Which-50- Companies Still Fail On Online Accessibility, Even As New Challenges Emerge
- PK Law- Is Your Website Accessible to Customers With Disabilities and Why You Should Care!
- Hudson Cook- Update: Supreme Court Declines to Review Web Content Accessibility Suit Against Domino’s Pizza
- Squire Patton Boggs- US Supreme Court Leaves Standards of Website Accessibility Ambiguous, Vexing Businesses
- Associations Now- Tips For Improving Your Digital Accessibility
- Bloomberg Law- INSIGHT: Website Accessibility and the ADA—Is Your Business Ready?
- The Indiana Lawyer- Uhl and Bose: Domino’s effect: SCOTUS skips clarifying ADA web access
Accessibility in the News Coverage
- March 31, 2017: Federal Court in Los Angeles Dismisses Website Accessibility Claims
- April 7, 2017: Court Dismisses Website Accessibility Case as Violating Due Process, Since DOJ Still Has Not Issued Regulations
- July 18, 2017: The ADA, Websites and the Decision in Robles v. Dominos Pizza LLC
- February 13, 2018: Blind Patron, Domino’s Debate Dismissal Of Website ADA Suit In 9th Circuit,
- October 26, 2018: Domino’s: Ninth Circuit Hears Web Accessibility Appeal Argument
- January 15, 2019:Court Says Domino’s Website Must Be Accessible to the Blind
- February 2, 2019: Law Review: Must Domino’s Pizza website be ADA compliant?
- March 8, 2019: Ninth Circuit Ruling Bolsters ADA Website Accessibility Suits
- March 15, 2019: Clicks ‘n Tricks: Domino’s forced to open eyes to blind customers
- July 17, 2019: Domino’s Asks Supreme Court to Clarify Rules on Web Accessibility
- July 18, 2017: The ADA, Websites and the Decision in Robles v. Dominos Pizza LLC, Top “Accessibility in the News” Topics of 2017
- August 9, 2019: Domino’s asks the Supreme Court to shut down a lawsuit requiring its website be accessible to blind people
- August 15, 2019: Domino’s asked Supreme Court to shut down the lawsuit filed by a blind man
- August 16, 2019: Domino’s Pizza Sued By Blind Man Who Says He Can’t Use Their Website
- August 23, 2019:Domino’s Receives Backlash for Fighting Accessibility Lawsuit
- September 27, 2019: Why the fate of online accessibility may rest with a Domino’s Pizza lawsuit
- June 25, 2021: Court finds Domino’s Pizza Violated the ADA by Having an Inaccessible Website and Orders WCAG Compliance
- June 25, 2021: Another Big Win in the Domino’s Pizza Accessibility Saga
- June 26, 2021: Domino’s accessibility lawsuit update
- January 16, 2019: Ninth Circuit court: Domino’s pizza website is bound by ADA – Fast Company
- January 18, 2019: Ninth Circuit: Domino’s Website Required to Comply With ADA – National Law Review
- February 4, 2019: Due Process and Primary Jurisdiction Defenses to Website Accessibility Claims Fall Like Dominoes in the Ninth Circuit – National Law Review
- March 20, 2019: Robles V. Domino’s – Another Hurdle In Defending ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits? – JD Supra
- April 1, 2019: “ADApt your Website”: Key Takeaways from the Domino’s Website Litigation – National Law Review
- June 13, 2019: Domino’s Files Petition for US Supreme Court Review of Unfavorable Website Access Decision – Lexology
- July, 1 2019: ADA questions remain over web accessibility cases and the lack of DOJ regulations – ABA Journal
- July 16, 2019: Retailers ask Supreme Court for clarity in ADA website claims – Chain Store Age
- July 16, 2019: Business groups urge Supreme Court to wade into ADA website litigation fray – Reuters
- July 17, 2019: Are E-Commerce Sites Covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act? Retailers Ask Supreme Court to Weigh In – Footwear News
- July 17, 2019: Does the Americans with Disabilities Act require business websites to be navigable by blind individuals? – Denton Record-Chronicle
- July 18, 2019: Group asks SCOTUS to overturn ‘profoundly wrong’ ADA ruling against Domino’s – Legal Newsline
- July 20, 2019: Do protections for people with disabilities apply online? Domino’s asks high court. – The Seattle Times
- July 22, 2019: Retail Groups Ask Supreme Court to Decide if Websites Must Follow Disabilities Act – CPA Practice Advisor
- July 25, 2019: Domino’s Would Rather Go to the Supreme Court Than Make Its Website Accessible to the Blind – Eater
- July 25, 2019: Domino’s Asks Supreme Court to Say Disability Protections Don’t Apply Online – NBC Washington
- July 25, 2019: A blind man couldn’t order pizza from Domino’s. The company wants the Supreme Court to say websites don’t have to be accessible – CNBC
- August 1, 2019: Latest Developments In Robles V. Domino’s—A Crucial ADA Website Accessibility Case With Broad Implications – JD Supra
- August 2, 2019: Domino’s takes its case for non-accessible design to the Supreme Court – ARS Technica
- August 2, 2019: Domino’s Fights Website Accessibility Ruling in Supreme Court, Social Media Weighs In – Popculture
- August 2, 2019: Domino’s asked Supreme Court to shut down the lawsuit filed by a blind man – Tech Observer
- August 5, 2019: Domino’s Pizza is locked in a legal battle over the future of web design – Fast Company
- August 5, 2019: Domino’s Pizza delivers a game-changing case to the US Supreme Court – Quartz
- August 6, 2019: Domino’s Could F’Up the Internet for People With Disabilities Because They Won’t Just Fix Their Website – Gizmodo
- August 13, 2019: Where’s My Pizza? (Recording / Transcript) – In Touch, BBC Radio Four
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