I speculate that 80% of website accessibility litigation settles for between $7,000 and $17,000. On the extreme ends $3,000 on the low side and then $23,000 on the higher side.
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Your entity’s size definitely affects negotiations. If you can prove your operations are smaller and you have limited revenue, plaintiffs law firms are willing to settle for less.
Also, the stage of the settlement matters. If it’s after demand letter is sent, then that likely will keep the keep the dollar amount lower. However, if a complaint is filed if motions are filed then that’s going to lend to a higher settlement amount.
Another factor is the experience level of the plaintiffs law firm. If the firm is smaller and/or less experienced and/or reluctant to file in court, that firm is likely going to settle for a lesser amount than a firm that is experienced, files regularly, and has negotiated against entities of all sizes.
One more factor is the location: New York-based lawsuits usually cost more vs. the two other most active states, California and Florida.
Those are the factors that go into the actual settlement amount, but what’s very, very important is that it’s not just the settlement amount that adds to the bottomline cost.
The non-money terms of ADA website settlements can greatly affect the total cost of settling.
From my observations, many settlements may include mandatory audits, user testing, website changes, and even the hiring of third parties. While these terms are often included in settlements, they can significantly increase costs for the defendant.
For instance, while including an audit as part of a settlement may seem reasonable, conducting these audits quarterly can become expensive and might even be excessive. Similarly, user testing can be costly. If mandated to be done quarterly, not only does it escalate the cost, but such frequent testing might not even be beneficial.
It’s crucial to consider the nature of these terms, their frequency, and whether there’s a requirement to report to the plaintiffs’ law firm. Beyond the monetary value of the settlement, the conditions of the settlement can sometimes exceed the original cost. Thus, careful attention is needed when evaluating these terms.