Judge allows class action over Target Web site

WaddleDoodle

Creepy? We're the CIA. It's what we do.
Mar 15, 2005
601
0
0
Arlington, VA
#1
Have fun with this one...

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6211758.html

A federal judge in California has allowed a class action lawsuit to proceed against Target brought by plaintiffs claiming the discount retailer's Web site is inaccessible to the blind.

The ruling allows blind individuals, who say that many other retailers have designed their Web sites to be accessible through special software that vocalizes online content, to join collectively in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs contend that the company does not allow them full and equal access to Target stores because they cannot obtain online product and sales information.

The decision, made public on Tuesday by Judge Marilyn Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, also rejected Target's motion for summary judgment in the case.

"This is a tremendous step forward for blind people throughout the country who for too long have been denied equal access to the Internet economy," Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation for the Blind, said in a statement following Tuesday's ruling.

The federation, which has more than 50,000 members, says that the Web sites of many other retailers, including Target's larger rival, Wal-Mart, have been made accessible to blind shoppers who use screen-reading software to access the Internet.

"Wal-Mart, which is a very similar company but bigger, is accessible, so there is no question that their (Target's) Web site can be accessible," said John Pare, executive director for strategic initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind.

According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Bruce Sexton, a California resident, uses screen-reading software to access the Internet but has been unable to use certain features of Target's site. The software vocalizes text and describes the content of the Web page.

The plaintiffs, including the federation, say redesigning the Target site to be readable by blind people would be technologically easy and not economically prohibitive.

Minneapolis-based Target said in a statement that it was disappointed that the judge had granted class action status to the case, but said the decision was a procedural ruling only.

"We will request an immediate review of the ruling granting class certification and we are confident that we will prevail on the merits of this case," the company said.

"Regardless of the outcome, accessibility will remain a priority for Target and we will continue to implement new technologies to enhance the usability of our Web site for all of our guests."

In the decision, the judge said that since the lawsuit was filed, Target has made some modifications to its Web site to make it more accessible to the blind.

In court papers, Target has argued that Sexton has not shown any kind of legal injury that impedes him from obtaining goods or services at the company's physical stores.

The case was filed in February 2006. The court threw out a portion of the suit in September 2006, dismissing the plaintiffs' claims to the extent that they are based on Web site features that were unconnected to the physical stores.

Martin Wymer, a partner at law firm Baker & Hostetler who represents companies in litigation matters, said that other retailers are likely taking a hard look at the accessibility of their Web sites.

In addition to trying to avoid lawsuits, "there's a business benefit from opening up your doors to that many more customers," he said.

Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,418
27,301
898
Seattle
#2
I hate all this BS handicapped/blind/deaf/stupid/black accessible shit. You should not be forced to comply with this. It should be voluntary only.
 

Xyn

3 letters, 0 meaning
Mar 3, 2005
3,753
2
0
California
#3
My state made an ASS, of it's self
 

HummerTuesdays

Another girrrrl!!!
Apr 24, 2005
7,347
0
261
On the road to ruin
#6
Here's a solution...buy from Walmart & other stores that ARE accessable. When Target realizes they're losing money they'll get the software. They don't need a fucking law suit. And I hope that if this results in a net loss for Target that they discontinue the special software & tell those fuckers, "You weren't buying enough to make it worth our time."
 

Cunty McShitballs

Imagine, if you will...
Apr 4, 2005
553
0
206
Brooklyn, NY
#7
Jesus, this should be something the free market decides. On the Internet there are 10000000 alternatives.... it's not like they are being deprived of anything.

That being said, Target is stupid. It would be a pretty simple task for a corporation their size to make their site section 508 compliant... a hell of a lot cheaper than a lawsuit and bad publicity would be.
 
#8
Frankly, it never occurred to me that this could be ANY kind of violation... And now that I know it is, I don't get it. This is a colossal waste of the court's time.

What's next, suing Target because the site isn't in Spanish?
 

TheDrip

I'm bi-winning.
Jan 9, 2006
5,051
3
228
#10
In Sacramento, we have a cripple in a wheelchair that has successfully sued 30 businesses. In some cases he's won judgements in excess of $2 million. He's suing in the grounds that the businesses don't offer adequate handicapped access to areas in that business.

Case in point, a restaurant with downstairs and upstairs seating. He came in one a day when the restaurant was slow as hell (plenty of seats downstairs) he specifically asked if he could sit upstairs. Since there was nothing in place to help him up there short of carrying his ass, he left in a huff, sued, won, and the restaurant was forced to....get this...install an elevator to the upstairs area that's maybe 20ft wide, buy 60 feet long (8 tables in all).


This guy is using his disability as a way to extort businesses. He recently successfully sued a facility that was designed to give 'at risk' kids a place to play basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer because the visitor seating didn't have handicapped ramps for the upper levels. Due to the cost of the lawsuit, the guy had to close the place down.


Bravo, shitdick.
 

kimothee

Token Gimpy Cunt
Aug 31, 2004
1,224
0
281
The Edge of the Water, Norf Jersey
#11
In Sacramento, we have a cripple in a wheelchair that has successfully sued 30 businesses. In some cases he's won judgements in excess of $2 million. He's suing in the grounds that the businesses don't offer adequate handicapped access to areas in that business.

Case in point, a restaurant with downstairs and upstairs seating. He came in one a day when the restaurant was slow as hell (plenty of seats downstairs) he specifically asked if he could sit upstairs. Since there was nothing in place to help him up there short of carrying his ass, he left in a huff, sued, won, and the restaurant was forced to....get this...install an elevator to the upstairs area that's maybe 20ft wide, buy 60 feet long (8 tables in all).


This guy is using his disability as a way to extort businesses. He recently successfully sued a facility that was designed to give 'at risk' kids a place to play basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer because the visitor seating didn't have handicapped ramps for the upper levels. Due to the cost of the lawsuit, the guy had to close the place down.


Bravo, shitdick.
Shitdick is right...what an asshole! I saw something about this on Bullshit! one episode - it was all about the ADA, compliance, etc. Although I do think the ADA law is a good one, some assholes like that guy take it waaaayyyyy too far.

Here's the thing - there are accessibility laws that make life easier for nearly everyone - curb cuts are a simple example. Curb cuts work for people in wheelchairs, people pulling luggage (think in a large city where there is mass transit which is used all the time), people pushing baby carriages....you get the idea. Same with lever-style door handles - not only are they best for gimps like me since I have no hand strength, but my husband sure appreciates it when he's carrying in an assload of groceries.

I'm in my late 30s, and when I was just a wee tot, most things were NOT accessible. I've walked (rolled?) through my fair share of restaurants via the kitchen because there was no front door access - don't even get me started on bars. Because I live in an area that has a lot of "historic" buildings (and this amazed me when I moved to a suburb of Philly), there are still a lot of places which are inaccessible (when looking for a job, for example, I have to do a dry run before an interview to make sure I can get into the building). When we lived out west, and since I've traveled throughout the majority of the US and internationally, it amazes me how inaccessible this area really is. Living out west is a cakewalk for me because I can get to 95% of the places I want to and not have to even think about accessibility.

In the cases you outlined above, that's just asinine. As long as their is suitable and equal service in both levels of a restaurant, they are compliant, which is fine.

Plus, remember, life just isn't fair. Suck it up and adapt.
 

WonkaVision

To my Friends!!! To My Friends!!!
Sep 5, 2005
3,059
1
236
HOUSTON
#12
Fuck, I would just give them stacks of monopoly money and tell them they won the lawsuit. Nobody would ever know.
 

Plunkies

Registered User
Jun 28, 2006
5,898
2,656
543
#14
They should countersue the blind people for not being able to read the website. It shouldn't be their job to cater to everyone anymore than your job to cater to them.
 

Razor Roman

Save the USH!
Aug 27, 2002
10,393
0
366
Sayreville NJ
#15
Here's a solution...buy from Walmart & other stores that ARE accessable. When Target realizes they're losing money they'll get the software. They don't need a fucking law suit. And I hope that if this results in a net loss for Target that they discontinue the special software & tell those fuckers, "You weren't buying enough to make it worth our time."
QFT -- as someone with a blind father AND blind brother I concur. It sucks that certain stuff can't be accessed by the blind, but that's life. Where does it end if it starts with Target? Will Zag have to make Wackbag more blind friendly too? And if he doesn't can he be sued?
 

Budyzir

There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Nov 12, 2004
7,307
1
0
Queens, NY
#16
So, what's next, porn sites? That could be interesting.
 

kimothee

Token Gimpy Cunt
Aug 31, 2004
1,224
0
281
The Edge of the Water, Norf Jersey
#17
QFT -- as someone with a blind father AND blind brother I concur. It sucks that certain stuff can't be accessed by the blind, but that's life. Where does it end if it starts with Target? Will Zag have to make Wackbag more blind friendly too? And if he doesn't can he be sued?
Have to ask....genetic blindness with your dad and brother? That's exceptionally rare....

Also explains how I instinctively knew that you were "in" with the crip nip joke and I didn't feel the need to elbow you in the balls :action-sm