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Parkwood Entertainment sued over website accessibility

Parkwood Entertainment, the entertainment and management company founded by Beyoncé Knowles, was hit with a lawsuit in 2019 over the accessibility of its website. The suit was filed by Mary Conner, a visually impaired woman who claimed that the website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not being accessible to blind and visually impaired users. Conner alleged that the website’s content was not properly coded to work with screen reader software, preventing her from fully accessing the site’s features.

The lawsuit argued that Parkwood Entertainment failed to provide “full and equal enjoyment” of its website to people with disabilities, as required by the ADA. Conner sought an injunction requiring the company to make its website accessible, as well as damages for the alleged harm she suffered.

In response to the lawsuit, Parkwood Entertainment argued that the company was not subject to the ADA because it does not have a physical location in the state where the suit was filed. However, the court rejected this argument and ruled that the company’s website was a place of public accommodation covered by the ADA.

Ultimately, Parkwood Entertainment settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount in 2020. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to make its website accessible to users with disabilities and to provide training to its staff on website accessibility. The settlement also required Parkwood to engage a website accessibility consultant to ensure ongoing compliance with the ADA.

The Parkwood Entertainment case highlights the importance of website accessibility for businesses of all sizes, including those in the entertainment industry. As more consumers rely on the internet to access goods and services, it’s crucial for companies to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users, regardless of their disabilities. Failing to do so can result in costly lawsuits, negative publicity, and a loss of customers.

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