Case questions whether self-appointed “testers” have the ability to sue under Article III
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2023) – NFIB joined a coalition of business groups in filing an amicus brief in the case Acheson Hotels, LLC v. Laufer at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case asks whether, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a self-appointed “tester” has the legal standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge a business’s website accessibility, even when the tester lacks any intention of physically visiting that business. NFIB previously filed an amicus brief urging the Court to hear the case.
“This case highlights the uncertainty for small businesses when complying with the ADA and the applicability of websites,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Unfortunately, small businesses who are doing their best to comply with numerous government regulations and compliance requirements, are at risk of costly and time-consuming litigation due to ‘tester’ lawsuits like the one in this case. Small businesses urge the Court to limit the practice of distant parties weaponizing the ADA to harm small businesses.”
Small business owners have advocated for clarity in the ADA’s applicability to business websites and protection from those abusing the ADA for financial gain. NFIB previously published a tip sheet for small business owners on how best for businesses to navigate the uncertainty of the ADA’s application to business websites. The NFIB Small Business Legal Center published a White Paper titled, “The ADA and Small Business: Website Compliance Amid a Plethora of Uncertainty.”
NFIB filed the amicus brief with the Restaurant Law Center, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, Puerto Rico Restaurant Association, New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, and HospitalityMaine.
The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.