The Plaintiffs in the accessibility case against JetBlue Airways have filed a Notice of Appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Notice is the first step in appealing the District Court’s August 3, 2011 order that threw the case out of court.
The lawsuit is about JetBlue’s website and airport kiosks that are not accessible to people with visual impairments. The lower court ruled that California state law protecting the civil rights of persons with disabilities does not apply to airline websites and kiosks. The court’s ruling only applies to airline web sites and kiosks, and does not affect legal advocacy efforts seeking access to other websites or kiosks.
Plaintiffs in the case against JetBlue Airways are the California Council of the Blind (CCB) and three individual JetBlue customers with visual impairments. Linda M. Dardarian of the Oakland civil rights firm Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardarian, and the Law Office of Lainey Feingold, are representing the plaintiffs.
The District Court dismissed the lawsuit because of regulations issued by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The regulations do not require accessible websites or kiosks that people with disabilities can use, and are only considered to be interim. Still, the Judge ruled that the DOT’s actions, however limited and ineffective, were enough to “preempt” the rights of people with disabilities under state civil rights laws claims.
The advocates in the JetBlue case hope to convince the appeals court that the judge was wrong. A similar case against United Airlines was also dismissed and is also on appeal.
It could be three years before the appeal is decided.
For a summary, with links, of the other posts on this website about the JetBlue litigation, visit the Litigation Category. Further updates on the JetBlue case will be posted to that category on LFLegal, or you can use the Contact Page on this website to request updates by email. You can also follow the Law Office of Lainey Feingold on Twitter for updates on JetBlue and other web accessibility legal advocacy.