United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
F. KENNEY J.
John Mahoney is a visually impaired and legally blind
individual. He brings this action on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated for disability discrimination
under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.,
against Defendant Bittrex, Inc. for its failure to make its
website accessible to blind people. Plaintiff alleges, as a
blind person, he is a member of a protected class of persons
under the ADA, Defendant's website is a "public
accommodation" within the definition of 42 U.S.C. §
12181(7) and, as such, it is subject to Title III of the ADA
and the protections it affords disabled individuals. ECF No.
1 at 15.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiffs Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
see ECF No. 7, Plaintiffs Response, see ECF
No. 12, and Defendant's Reply, see ECF No. 14.
facts contained herein are drawn from Plaintiffs Complaint,
see ECF No. 1, and the Court construes those facts
in a light most favorable to Plaintiff.
is a visually impaired and legally blind individual, who
cannot use a computer without the assistance of
screen-reading software. ECF No. 1 at 8. Defendant is a
cryptocurrency exchange company that owns and operates
www.bittrex.com ("Website"). Id.
Plaintiff attempted ("at least once in the past")
to access Defendant's Website, "he [was] unable to
understand" it due to Defendant's "failure to
build its Website in a manner that is compatible with screen
reader programs." Id. As a result, Plaintiff
claims he is denied the benefit of "much of the content
and services he wishes to access or use" on
Defendant's Website. Id. Plaintiff describes the
access barriers to Defendant's Website in detail.
Id. at 8-10.
to Defendant's failure and refusal to remove access
barriers to its website, Plaintiff and visually impaired
persons have been and are still being denied equal access to
Defendant's Website, and the numerous goods and services
and benefits offered to the public through the Website."
Id. at 10. According to Plaintiff, if Defendant
removed the access barriers, he, along with those individuals
similarly situated, "could independently research the
Website's offerings, including making a purchase."
stage, the Defendant does not dispute that the access
barriers exist. Instead, Defendant asserts that it has
"no publicly-available physical presence ... [and
because] Plaintiff does not (and cannot) allege
otherwise" its Website is not a "public
accommodation" under the ADA. ECF No. 7 at 4-5.
filed his Complaint on August 23, 2019 and Defendant filed
the instant Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff responded to the
Motion, Defendant submitted its reply, and the Motion is ripe
STANDARD OF REVIEW
purpose of a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is to test the legal
sufficiency of the complaint,' not the merits."
Walker v. Sam's Oyster House, LLC, 2018 WL
4466076, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 18, 2018) (citing Wainberg
v. Dietz & Watson, Inc., 2017 WL 5885840, at *2
(E.D. Pa. Nov. 28, 2017)); see also Liou v. Le Reve
Rittenhouse Spa, LLC, 2019 WL 1405846, at *2 (E.D. Pa.
Mar. 28, 2019) (citing Nelson v. Temple Univ., 920
F.Supp. 633, 634 n.2 (E.D. Pa. 1996)).
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege
"sufficient factual matter to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v.
Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
plausible on its face when the factual content allows the