Target Lawsuit: Settlement Reached

August 27, 2008

Topics: Accessibility, Law, News.

Read more at the WebAIM blog: “Target Lawsuit Settled.”

No legal definitions established today, I’m afraid to say. Although this is a victory on behalf of the claimants, who were awarded substantive damages on their claim, there was no establishment of any kind of legal precedent.

This is primarily due to one singular item in the settlement:

  1. No Admission of Liability. By agreeing to and voluntarily entering into this Agreement, there is no admission or concession by Target, direct or indirect, express or implied, that is in any way inaccessible or that Target has violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code §§ 51 et seq., the Disabled Persons Act, California Civil Code §§ 54 et seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et seq., or any other federal, state, or local law, regulation, order, or rule.

National Federation of the Blind vs. Target Corporation, Final Settlement

This statement clearly delineates a complete denial that there were any contradictions of law involved in the suit.

Ah, well. It is still a victory!

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4 Comments on “Target Lawsuit: Settlement Reached”

  1. Thanks, Bruce! Yeah, that’s a serious limitation to the settlement. I fail to understand why using a well-understood and standardized set of accessibility guidelines didn’t make it into the settlement…it inevitably makes me concerned that they’ll instead follow some bastardized set of rules. They may even create a whole new initialism for it!

    Perhaps something like “TOATG.”

    There are definitely some odd requirements in that document.

  2. The other problem is that the settlement only really mentions screenreader accessibility. And there are some reasonable guidelines laid out for Target to follow (with a bizarre construct for within-page links <span style=?postion:absolute;?><a name=?skiptocontent?> </a></span> because of an IE (Internet Explorer) bug), but setting WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 1.0 as the benchmark would have been much better. And seemingly no mention of accessibility for other groups at all.

    (I’ve written my thoughts on my work blog)

  3. It has, on the other hand, equally demonstrated that it requires a very expensive law suit and several years to gain the awarding of damages, without any indication of long-term gain.

    I am optimistic, and hope that the issue will be brought into law sooner rather than later, but can’t help but look at the more problematic issues of the present, too…

    Thanks for stopping by, Mike!

  4. No precedent set, but there was in the awarding of damages. Thus, it will come up again, next time. Though hopefully next time something will become law.