Kohl’s Corporation is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit in which a Pennsylvania man alleges the retailer has discriminated against customers with mobility disabilities by intentionally narrowing paths of travel within its stores.
The 23-page lawsuit alleges that the aisles and pathways within Kohl’s 50 Pennsylvania locations are consistently blocked by merchandise, displays, carts, boxes and other items that reduce the spaces to less than the 32-inch width required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The plaintiff claims he and other consumers who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility have been hindered from enjoying equal access to Kohl’s goods and services due to the access barriers within the retailer’s stores.
According to the case, the barriers experienced by the plaintiff are not isolated to his local Kohl’s store but are part of a larger pattern across all of the defendant’s Pennsylvania locations, as evidenced by the results of an apparent investigation conducted by the plaintiff’s attorneys. The lawsuit alleges that the “systemic” access barriers are reflective of the retailer’s overarching policies and practices, which the case claims aim to “encourage sales, maximize retail floor space, and to reduce operational burdens and/or costs.”
“However, all this comes at the expense of basic civil rights for people with disabilities,” the lawsuit alleges.
The plaintiff says absent blocked aisles and pathways, he would shop at Kohl’s more often “and with less difficulty.”
The lawsuit seeks to force Kohl’s both to make sure the interior paths of travel in its stores comply with the ADA and to change its policies and practices to ensure future compliance.