Legal Update: January 2023

This month, we have no cases to report on. Really. As far as I know, in the two and a half years that I have been writing these monthly legal updates, this is the first time that we have no cases to report on.

Does “news” include the lack of any news? This month, it does. I’ll take you on a tour behind the curtains and give you a glimpse of how I create these monthly updates. I’ll also offer some insight into what may be happening to cause this slowdown.

How I Create This Series

As frequent readers know, I have an account with Lexis and have set up alerts to send me the latest web accessibility cases by email at 5:00 am every morning. Lexis is one of two premier online legal research tools (the other one is Westlaw) that lawyers use to research cases and understand legal developments. Westlaw and Lexis each cost several hundred dollars each month. For the money, they provide far more comprehensive and usable databases of legal information than popular search engines like Google. While law schools provide a basic education in using Lexis and Westlaw, every law student will become expertly proficient in using these tools because they are the stock-in-trade for the legal profession.

As I mentioned, these alerts come by email at 5:00am every morning. My alerts are set up so that I receive an email alert even if there are no cases for the day. This way, every day of the month can be accounted for, and nothing goes to spam. My daily alert in Lexis uses the following search string,

((access! /5 web!) or (inaccess! /5 web!)) and americans /4 disabilities

This captures every time that any variant starting with “access” (e.g., accessible, access, accessibility, etc.) or “inaccess” (e.g., inaccessible) occurs within five words of any variant starting with “web” (e.g., web, website, etc.) and the Americans with Disabilities Act is mentioned in the opinion. This SHOULD capture most of the reported ADA cases involving web accessibility. This string doesn’t capture Unruh cases, so I have a second alert set up that replaces “americans /4 disabilities” with “unruh.”

Review of EVERY Case for January 2023

And so, what did we get this month? In my other legal updates, I cherry pick the most interesting cases to discuss. This month, I’m going to give you a chronological tour of every case that came from Lexis.

The first case didn’t appear until January 16. This case was Licea v. Ptc Therapeutics, 2022 Cal. Super. LEXIS 80763. The excerpt from Lexis told me that the relevant portions of the case focused on the requirement for plaintiffs to show intentional discrimination when suing an online-only company for its inaccessible website under Unruh. We’ve covered this topic already back in August. Because this is a California state court case, it’s outside of my Lexis package and would cost a small fortune for me to download from Lexis. Searching online, I also found that this the judge’s opinion hasn’t quite made it to the public resources.

The next case appeared on January 20. This case, Ariza v. Casablanco Mattress & Furniture Gallery, LLC 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8761 (S.D. Fla. 2023) was a thoughtful opinion in which the court approved a default judgment in a web accessibility case. Useful but hardly earth-shattering. Plus, we’ve covered this topic at least four times in much more interesting cases.

Five days later, on January 25, we got our first interesting case. In Mason v. Sprout Yangban, LLC, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 236400 (C.D. Cal. 2022), a district court refused to expand an ADA web accessibility lawsuit to include a parallel Unruh claim because of California’s expanded pleading requirements in construction-related cases. Sounds confusing enough to be interesting, right? Unfortunately, the opinion offers hardly factual background, including the basic allegations in the complaint.

Next up on January 26 was Toro v. Island Pursuit, Inc., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12288 (S.D.N.Y. 2023). This opinion merely approved a consent decree. Not exactly earth-shattering news.

And finally, on January 29, Lexis reported two cases. First, was Murphy v. Le Sportsac, Inc., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13888 (W.D. Pa. 2023). This is another consent decree opinion. Nothing of interest here. Next was Wilson v. Jord, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14449 (W.D.N.Y. 2023). In this case, the court approved the magistrate’s recommendation to grant a defendant’s motion to dismiss. Unfortunately, just like the Mason case, the court’s opinion gave nothing to analyze and comment on.

Is It Real or Is It Lexis?

Six reported web accessibility cases in one month across the nation seems like quite a slowdown. Back in October 2020, I noticed the same thing happening with web accessibility lawsuits being filed in the Federal courts. That turned out to be an illusion created by a glitch at Lexis. In reality, hundreds of cases were filed; Lexis had simply not entered them into their databases.

The same thing could be happening here. While I was writing this blog, I noticed that the year for the Mason case was 2022. So, I dug a little deeper into how long it took Lexis to report on its opinions for the month.

  • Licea v. Ptc Therapeutics
    • Opinion issued by court: December 20, 2022
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 16, 2023
  • Ariza v. Casablanco Mattress & Furniture Gallery
    • Opinion issued by court: January 17, 2023
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 20, 2023
  • Mason v. Sprout Yangban, LLC
    • Opinion issued by court: December 16, 2022
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 25, 2023
  • Toro v. Island Pursuit, Inc.
    • Opinion issued by court: January 20, 2023
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 26, 2023
  • Murphy v. Le Sportsac, Inc.
    • Opinion issued by court: January 24, 2023
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 29, 2023 
  • Wilson v. Jord
    • Opinion issued by court: January 27, 2023
    • Opinion reported by Lexis: January 29, 2023

Of the six cases reported this month by Lexis, four were reported within one week of being issued by the court. Two of the opinions (Licea and Mason) were delayed by about a month. If my delivery service only delivered packages on time 67% of the time, I’d consider looking for a new courier. Unfortunately, I don’t know if any of the other services focused on legal case reporting do any better.


Nothing in this post should be interpreted as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. It is offered for educational purposes only. You should always contact a qualified attorney in your area to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities.

Want to See More Content Like This?

Want the latest blog posts, videos, white papers, and announcements? Sign up for our mailing list and stay in the loop!

We're Here to Help When You're Ready

Take a deep breath. Then feel free to reach out to our team when you're ready to discuss your accessibility needs.

0 comments on “Legal Update: January 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Click to access the login or register cheese