REI Class Action Overview:
- Who: Legally blind man sues Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) saying its website is not accessible to people using screen readers
- Why: Complainant claims accessibility issue is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Where: The class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in California.
Renowned outdoor gear retailer REI is not making its website accessible to legally blind people who use screen readers, in violation of the law, according to a new class action lawsuit.
Plaintiff Christopher Lucero filed the class action lawsuit against Recreational Equipment Inc on May 19 in federal court in California, alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act.
Lucero is a visually impaired and legally blind person who needs screen reader software to read website content using his computer.
According to the lawsuit, REI’s website www.rei.com is not fully or equally accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers.
The plaintiff seeks damages, an injunction
Specifically, Lucero said there was a lack of alt text on the website, meaning the graphics could not be described to those using a screen reader, and there were several links empty and redundant.
Accordingly, Lucero seeks a permanent injunction to bring about a change in REI’s corporate policies, practices and procedures so that its website becomes and remains accessible to it and other blind and visually impaired consumers.
It seeks to represent all legally blind people in the United States who have attempted to access the website using a screen reader, as well as an underclass from California.
He seeks certification of the class action, an injunction, damages of $4,000 per breach, fees, costs and a jury trial.
The news comes as REI faces a class action alleging that she sells waterproof coats that contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.
What do you think of the allegations in this case? Let us know in the comments!
The plaintiff is represented by Thiago M. Coelho of the Wilshire Law Firm.
The REI Class Action is Christopher Lucero v. Recreational Equipment, Inc, Case #3: 22-cv-02977 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
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