I had noticed that investor relations pages on websites we’re being targeted by plaintiffs’ lawyers, but I’d never thought about why they were specifically going after those pages – I just thought it was something that they had come up with to do.
But I was talking to another attorney and they speculated that this was because of standing and I think that’s actually that’s the reason.
So with this situation we have the main website and then we have an investor relations website if someone wants to invest in the business.
But plaintiffs’ lawyers are ignoring the main website when they filed their complaints.
So you would think – and especially if there are accessibility issues – you would think that the plaintiffs lawyers would file a claim against the primary website, but, no, they will find the investor relations pages.
And I’m I’m writing on the on the whiteboard and I’ve got two drawings of squares once bigger square representing a main website and then on the footer I have the investor relations “IR” as a link and then it’s superimposed to a smaller website which is IR.website.com.
And so here we have these investor relations page and links to it I have a drawing of another smaller rectangle that says PDF.
So we have- we have these two different websites. One is on a sub domain one is the main. And the plaintiffs’ lawyers are going to the sub domain and the reason they’re doing this is because of standing.
So the whereas the main website might be closed to the plaintiff for a few reasons – I’ll get into it a few examples in a second – he investor relations page is open is open and inviting to anybody who would like to invest in the company.
And so because it is open to the general public, it is inviting it is inviting attention versus the main website may not be.
The main website the plaintiff may not be eligible to participate in the general offering.
So let’s say it’s a credit union and the credit union only accepts members that are from within a specific geographic region.
Well if the plaintiff doesn’t live in that geographic region, then they wouldn’t be they couldn’t have been harmed by the website. Maybe it’s because it’s not practical to visit.
So if- if the main website to visit the physical location it would be it would be out of state and it would be 400 miles for the plaintiff to get to you and the plaintiffs never been to that state.
Them that could be another reason why, practically, it wouldn’t make sense where plaintiffs law firm to try to establish standing and damages and harm from an offering that really wasn’t for the plaintiff.
But the plaintiff can make the case that they were genuinely looking to invest in the company and they visited the investor relations website or for the sub domain and by going to this investor relations website they found out it was inaccessible and they could no longer access the information.
And so the reason I have the PDF here on to the side is because PDF’s are a part of this accessibility.
So if you have a PDF and is not accessible then it is possible that there could be a claim made that amongst other issues on the investor relations site, the PDF was inaccessible and so PDF are different.
They’re not the same remediating PDF to be accessible it’s not the same as remediating a website to be accessible two different things.
And I would say that PDF PDFs can be depending on their complexity more difficult to remediate than the than a website especially if the PDF is of dozens of pages in length.
So, but the good news is on the investor relations web website or the OR the page these are these usually are very simple pages and they’re easy to remediate and they don’t take a lot of time to do so.
So that is good and then what another strategy could be is to make the PDFs available upon request and then anybody can then let you know whether they need an alternative format or an accessible format and but this is what’s going on with investor relations pages.