Last fall, hundreds of lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of New York alleging that retailers and restaurants that failed to offer gift cards with Braille lettering for sale violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (see a Steptoe summary of this wave of complaints here).
Judge Woods recently decided the first two of these cases: Dominguez v. Banana Republic and Murphy v. Kohl’s Department Stores. In both cases, Judge Woods dismissed the complaints for lack of standing and failure to state a claim. Judge Woods held that a Braille gift card is a specialty good that merchants are not required to stock under the ADA’s implementing regulations. He further held that the ADA empowers retailers to choose which auxiliary aids they offer, rather than allowing customers to demand a particular aid.
The opinions also take issue with the duplicative “copy and paste” nature of these complaints, which lacked specific allegations sufficient to create standing. In the Murphy opinion, Judge Woods found that the plaintiff had failed to allege an intent to return to the store where he was denied service. The opinion notes that:
Continue Reading Judge Woods Tosses First Suits Claiming that ADA Requires Braille Gift Cards (Steptoe Success)