eToro secures dismissal of disability discrimination lawsuit

Online trading company eToro USA LLC has secured dismissal of a disability discrimination lawsuit.

The plaintiff in this case – Cristian Sanchez, has filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice on September 1, 2021. The notice states:

“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, that the above-entitled action against all Defendants shall be and hereby is dismissed pursuant to F.R.C.P. Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) without prejudice; without costs, or disbursements, or attorneys’ fees to any party”.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged he is a visually-impaired and legally blind person residing in the State of New York. He claims to have visited the website of eToro on an unspecified number of occasions (most recently in March 2021) and to have “encountered multiple access barriers that denied Plaintiff full and equal access to the facilities, goods and services offered to the public and made available to the public; and that denied Plaintiff the full enjoyment of the facilities, goods and services of the Website.”

The plaintiff claimed that eToro discriminated against him on the basis of his disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to make its Internet website accessible to blind persons.

According to eToro, Sanchez’s claims suffered from a number of legal deficiencies. For instance, the broker argued that the ADA does not apply to a fully online business like eToro that lacks any “brick and mortar” offices that could qualify as a “place of public accommodation” where members of the public can purchase goods or services.

The ADA only applies to commercial websites that have a nexus to, or operate in tandem with, a company’s physical, “brick and mortar” stores. It simply does not cover websites operated by companies that, like eToro, provide their services entirely over the Internet.

The case, which was transferred from the New York Southern District Court to the New Jersey District Court, was terminated on September 2, 2021.

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