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Will Target get schooled?

By Aaron Gustafson | October 5th, 2007 | Filed in Accessibility, Legal

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified the NFB lawsuit against Target as a class action on behalf of blind Internet users throughout the U.S. and ruled that websites like Target.com are required, under California state law, to be accessible.

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In February of 2006, the National Federation of the Blind took legal action against Target for having an inaccessible website. A month later the case after it went to federal court (at Target’s request), and in September, the NFB began pushing for class action certification after Target failed to get the case thrown out.

For nearly a year, it’s been very quiet, but Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, has just granted class-action status to the lawsuit, meaning every blind person in the U.S. who has tried to access Target.com can become a plaintiff. The judge also created a separate class in the suit for blind residents of California, as the site’s inaccessibility may break not only federal law, but state law as well.

As Derek and Matt have noted, this could be a landmark case for web accessibility in the U.S. Of particular note (in my mind, at least) is that Target has modified its website (albeit not a whole lot) since the suit was originally filed, hoping to get the suit dropped or dismissed, but Judge Patel did not acquiesce.

You can read more about the order from the Associated Press, PC World, and Ars Technica.

This post has been translated into Polish.

Your Replies

#1 On October 5th, 2007 7:55 am