Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., No. 17-13467 (11th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a long-time customer with a visual disability who must access websites with screen reader software, filed suit against Winn-Dixie under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after he was unable to access Winn-Dixie's website with his software. The district court found that Winn-Dixie's website violated the ADA.
The Eleventh Circuit vacated and remanded, concluding that plaintiff had Article III standing to bring the case where the difficulties caused by his inability to access much of the website constitute a concrete and particularized injury that is not conjectural or hypothetical and will continue if the website remains inaccessible; the websites are not places of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA because, pursuant to the language of Title III, public accommodations are limited to actual, physical places; and Winn-Dixie's limited use website, although inaccessible by individuals who are visually disabled, does not function as an intangible barrier to an individual with a visual disability accessing the goods, services, privileges, or advantages of Winn-Dixie's physical stores (the operative place of public accommodation). The court explained that, absent congressional action that broadens the definition of "places of public accommodation" to include websites, the court cannot extend ADA liability to the facts presented here, where there is no barrier to the access demanded by the statute.