James Blanchard had just reopened his Denver winery this summer after being shut down for months because of COVID-19 when he got hit with a different kind of challenge — a surprise lawsuit alleging the website for his family business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit said David Katt, a resident of Douglas County who is blind, couldn’t use the downtown winery’s website because it was not compatible with screen-reading programs that allow people who are visually impaired to navigate online.
“We were caught out of the blue by this lawsuit,” Blanchard said. “There was no advanced warning, no contact, no communication from the plaintiff or their attorneys, it was just served on the front door of my apartment.”
Now he’s facing a potentially expensive legal fight at a time when sales at his 2-year-old Denver winery are down 30% because of the coronavirus — and he’s not