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A storefront with the words Title 3 written on top.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries logo

In many of today’s digital accessibility cases under ADA Title III, the prevailing question is whether a website can be considered a place of public accommodation. Courts have been split on this issue. In fact, in the Central District of California, different judges in the same jurisdiction reached divergent opinions in the Domino’s and Hobby Lobby cases.

As reported by the law firm of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP via Lexology, a U.S. District Court in New York has denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss in the case of Markett v. Five Guys Enterprises. The Five Guys website allows customers to order online and then pick up their food at the store. The plaintiff, who is blind, was unable to order a cheeseburger through the website.

Five Guys filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that their website was not a place of public accommodation. However, the court, citing DOJ guidance, ruled that the website maintained “a close relationship as a service of defendant’s restaurants, which indisputably are public accommodations under the statute.” ADA Title III explicitly includes restaurants in its definition of places of public accommodation.

The ruling does mention that Five Guys can use the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to ensure that their website is accessible, but does not mandate any specific success criteria.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.