A lawsuit against Rite Aid of New York claims the company has discriminated against the blind and visually impaired by denying them full and equal access to its services.
At issue is the company’s debit card readers, which the proposed class action alleges give blind users no audio cues to help them and makes them reliant on Rite Aid employees for assistance when making transactions. The suit argues that these kiosks are not only inaccessible to the visually impaired, but make proposed class members susceptible to fraud by store employees.
The complaint argues that Rite Aid’s refusal to update these payment kiosks with an audio component is discriminatory and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the New York Human Rights Law and state civil rights laws. Specifically at issue is Title III of the ADA, which the lawsuit explains makes it illegal to “[fail] to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary… to individuals with disabilities.”
The suit proposes to cover both a class of “[a]ll legally blind individuals in New York State who have attempted to independently purchase products from Defendant using their debit card and, as a result, have been denied access to the enjoyment of goods and services offered by Defendant, during the relevant statutory period.” The case also proposes a similar class for blind consumers nationwide.
The complaint seeks to force Rite Aid to update its stores to meet New York’s state requirements for accessibility to the blind. It also seeks damages of an amount to be determined later.