Applying private industry standards for website construction to Domino’s won’t violate its due process rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said Jan. 15.
Guillermo Robles is blind. Domino’s website and app are incompatible with his screen reading software and he couldn’t order pizzas from them.
Robles sued Domino’s under the ADA, seeking an injunction requiring it to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The district court said Domino’s couldn’t be forced to comply with the standards unless the U.S. Department of Justice offered meaningful guidance on the subject.
Enforcing the guidelines against Domino’s won’t violate its due process rights because Domino’s has been on notice since 1996 that its online offerings must effectively communicate with disabled customers and facilitate full and equal enjoyment of its products, the opinion by Judge John B. Owens said.
The DOJ is also aware of the issues concerning blind customers’ access to websites but need not pass its own guidelines to provide Domino’s with adequate notice of its obligations, the court said. As a general matter, lack of specific regulations doesn’t eliminate a statutory obligation, it said.
Judges Paul J. Watford and Jennifer G. Zipps, sitting by designation, joined the opinion.
Manning Law, APC represented Robles. Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP represented Domino’s.
The case is Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, 9th Cir., No. 17-55504, 1/15/19.