On November 25, 2020, Judge Richard A. Lanzillo of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recommended certification of a nationwide class of individuals with vision disabilities who allegedly cannot access the defendant’s online store with screen reader auxiliary aids. Judge Lanzillo also recommended the appointment of East End as Class Counsel for the nationwide class, finding attorneys Kevin Tucker and Kevin Abramowicz to have the “relevant experience” and that they have “made numerous contributions to several class actions throughout their careers.”
The court found the “diligent and effective representation [of attorneys Tucker and Abramowicz] in th[e] action to date and during the parties’ extensive settlement negotiations further confirm that they can effectively represent the class and are committed to doing so.”
If approved, the class settlement will require Charles Tyrwhitt, Inc., an online clothing retailer based in the U.K., to ensure the U.S. portion of Charles Tyrwhitt’s online store is Accessible within thirty-six months, as measured by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, including WAI-ARIA and/or BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines. In addition, the settlement commits Charles Tyrwhitt to several changes in policy, procedure, and personnel to promote accessibility of its online store.
These changes include:
- Charles Tyrwhitt’s appointment of an Accessibility Coordinator,
- The performance of an Accessibility Audit of its online store,
- Charles Tyrwhitt’s adoption of an Accessibility Policy Statement,
- Charles Tyrwhitt’s implementation of an Accessibility Strategy,
- Charles Tyrwhitt’s providing of Accessibility Training, and
- Charles Tyrwhitt’s retention of an Accessibility Consultant’ to “assist Charles Tyrwhitt to conduct an Accessibility Audit of the Website; (b) advise Charles Tyrwhitt on how to make the Website Accessible; (c) verify that the Website is Accessible by the end of the Agreement Term; (d) ensure any New Websites and Mobile Apps, and any Subsequently Acquired Websites and Mobile Apps, are Accessible; and (e) ensure any Third Party Content that may be required to be Accessible is Accessible.”
Judge Lanzillo found the settlement “to provide relief to class members commensurate with the best outcome they could have hoped to achieve had they litigated the case to a conclusion.”
The case is Murphy v. Chartles Tyrwhitt, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00056-SPB-RL (W.D.Pa.). You can read the Court’s
Report and Recommendation here.