United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Big Stone Gap Division
James P. Jones United States District Judge Thomas E.
Strelka, and L. Leigh Strelka, Strelka Law Office, PC,
Roanoke, Virginia, for Plaintiff.
J. Lynett, Jackson Lewis P.C., White Plains, New York, and
Lindsey A. Strachan, Jackson Lewis, P.C., Richmond, Virginia,
OPINION AND ORDER
P. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, who is blind, contends that he is unable to
navigate the defendant bank's website because of its
alleged accessibility barriers, in violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act. The defendant moves to dismiss on the
ground that the plaintiff lacks standing to assert this
claim. For the reasons that follow, I will grant the Motion
Complaint alleges the following facts, which I must accept as
true for purposes of deciding the Motion to Dismiss.
plaintiff, Keith Carroll, is a permanently blind resident of
Virginia. Carroll uses a screen reader to access the internet
and read website content.
defendant Farmers and Miners Bank (“FMB”) is a
Virginia corporation with its principal place of business in
Pennington Gap, Virginia. FMB owns and operates other banking
locations in this judicial district. The banking locations
constitute places of public accommodation. FMB utilizes the
website www.farmersandminersbank.com to provide
information associated with the bank, including a locator for
FMB branches and descriptions of the bank's services.
website contains accessibility barriers, which Carroll
alleges prevent him from using screen reading software to
freely navigate the sites. Specifically, his Complaint
alleges that the website has the following barriers that
prevent its full and free use by blind users:
(1) Linked image missing alternative text which presents a
problem because an image without alternative text results in
an empty link. . . .;
(2) Redundant Links where adjacent links go to the same URL
address which results [sic] in additional navigation and
repetition for keyboard and screen reader users; and (3)
Empty or missing form labels which presented a problem. . . .
Form labels provide visible descriptions and larger clickable
targets for form controls.
Compl. ¶ 13, ECF No. 1.
on these barriers, Carroll alleges that FMB violates the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”),
42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, by maintaining a website
that not fully accessible to visually-impaired users and
failing to make reasonable modifications to correct the
barriers. Specifically, Carroll alleges that FMB is a public
accommodation within the definition of Title III of the ADA,
and its website is “a service, privilege, advantage,
and accommodation that is heavily integrated within
[FMB's] locations.” Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 1.
moved to dismiss the Complaint for lack of standing.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The motion has been fully briefed and
argued, and is ripe for decision. Because I find that
Carroll's allegations fail ...