Family Dollar’s apparent reputation of having “messy, cluttered” aisles in its stores is front and center in a proposed class action filed in Pennsylvania.
Citing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 40-page lawsuit says that despite the “host of obstructions” that can block paths of travel in Family Dollar stores, the defendant “has done nothing to remedy the problem,” and continues to display “way too much merchandise” on its floors. The case, which includes a number of photos of apparent ADA path-of-travel violations, alleges that Family Dollar’s practice of loading its store floors with merchandise is intentional and “driven by a calculated judgment” that ostensibly forcing customers to take notice of items blocking paths of travel increases sales and profits.
The plaintiff claims, however, that Family Dollar effectively violates the ADA by knowingly creating access barriers for those covered by the law. From the suit:
“Plaintiff has regularly visited Defendant’s stores and has been repeatedly denied full and equal access to the stores as a result of accessibility barriers existing in interior paths of travel. These access barriers include but are not limited to: merchandise, merchandise displays, stocking carts, boxes, and/or other items, positioned so that they impermissibly block or narrow the aisle pathways. These conditions violate the ADA and deny Plaintiff’s equal access to the goods and services offered at Defendant’s stores.”
According to the lawsuit, the access barriers found at the Family Dollar store the plaintiff says she visited are far from isolated incidents. The plaintiff, who uses a wheelchair for mobility and is described in the suit as an ADA “tester,” alleges the accessibility violations at Family Dollar locations are systemic and recurring and have deterred her from visiting the defendant’s stores.
The lawsuit looks for a permanent injunction for Family Dollar to remediate any and all path-of-travel barriers at its stores, as well as change its policies and practices so that the alleged ADA violations do not recur.