On June 27, 2023, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania certified a nationwide class of individuals who claimed that P.C. Richard & Son, LLC lacked sufficient corporate policies and practices to ensure its website, https://www.pcrichard.com/, was fully and equally accessible under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12181 et seq., to consumers with visual disabilities who use screen reader auxiliary aids to shop online.
The Court appointed East End Trial attorney Stephanie Moore as Class Counsel, finding her and her team are “experienced and competent class action counsel who fairly and adequately protected the interests of the putative class throughout this litigation[.]”
The Court approved the parties’ class action settlement agreement requiring P.C. Richard to ensure its website and mobile applications meet the success criteria of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, at Levels A and AA (June 5, 2018), published by the World Wide Web Consortium, available at www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/ and to follow certain steps to ensure that its website and mobile applications become and remain accessible. These steps include, among other things:
- P.C. Richard shall retain an accessibility consultant knowledgeable about digital accessibility, the ADA, and WCAG 2.1. The accessibility consultant’s duties shall include, among other things, (a) assisting P.C. Richard to conduct an initial accessibility audit; (b) assisting P.C. Richard to develop and implement an accessibility strategy; (c) assisting P.C. Richard as to how to make the digital properties accessible; (d) assisting P.C. Richard in performing accessibility audits and end-user testing on a regular basis; and (e) providing P.C. Richard with a status report on an annual basis that identifies content, features, and services on the digital properties that are not accessible and measures to remediate them.
- With the help of its accessibility consultant, P.C. Richard shall develop and implement an accessibility strategy designed to ensure that the Digital Properties are accessible.
- P.C. Richard shall train all employees responsible for website or mobile application design, development, or maintenance to ensure the future design, development, and maintenance of the Digital Properties are and remain conformant to WCAG 2.1 A/AA.
- P.C. Richard shall be required to designate a team of its employees and/or contractors as the Accessibility Coordination Team tasked to ensure its digital properties are accessible and that accessibility-related questions and concerns from consumers are resolved in a timely manner.
- P.C. Richard shall ensure its customer service personnel are trained to assist individuals with disabilities (including individuals who are blind and/or who have a visual disability) who encounter difficulties using the Digital Properties and to timely assist such individuals within published hours of operation.
- P.C. Richard shall display a link to an accessibility statement at the beginning of a visitor’s experience on the digital properties so that individuals who are blind and/or who have a visual disability and who use auxiliary aids and services can perceive the link to the accessibility statement as if it were located at the top of each homepage. This will ensure that individuals who are blind and/or who have a visual disability and who use auxiliary aids and services learn of the resources located on the accessibility statement.
- For each new, renewed, or renegotiated contract with a vendor of third-party content, P.C. Richard shall request that the vendor commit to provide content in a format that conforms to WCAG 2.1 or can be made to conform to WCAG 2.1.
The case is Douglass v. P.C. Richard & Son, LLC, No. 2:22-cv-399 (W.D. Pa.). The Court’s class certification and approval order is available at Douglass v. P.C. Richard & Son, LLC, No. 2:22-cv-399, Doc. 55 (W.D. Pa. June 27, 2023).