Nordstrom, Sephora and MAC are among several retailers who have been sued in the last two months for operating websites that ‘discrimate against the blind or visually impaired’, according to a report published by The NY Post.
The lawsuits follow on from a decision delivered by a Federal Judge in Florida, which stated that retailers must make the same ‘public accommodation’ online as they do in their physical stores. The decision is based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which pre-dates the internet.
The New York Post is accusing lawyers of rainmaking, given that plaintiffs are barred from seeking damages in ADA cases and settlements are limited to US$500 in the state of New York, while legal fees can reach US$25,000 and are fully recoverable. The cost of making a website ADA compliant is estimated at US$37,000.
Editor’s note: Following the publication of this article, MAC Cosmetics has contacted Global Cosmetics News, stating: ‘The statements in the article are incorrect. There are no pending web access cases against MAC Cosmetics in New York’. At the time of writing, The New York Post article, used as source material for the above news item, remains unchanged.