Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
January 18, 2022, Decided; January 18, 2022, Filed
OPINION & ORDER
KIMBA M. WOOD, United States District Judge:
Josue Romero ("Plaintiff"), a visually impaired person, brings this action on behalf of himself and others similarly situated against 88 Acres Foods, Inc. ("Defendant") for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., ("ADA") and related state law claims. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to design, construct, maintain, and operate its website to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Plaintiff and other visually-impaired people, thereby violating Plaintiff's rights under the ADA. Defendant moves to dismiss the Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and (6).
For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is DENIED in its entirety.
Plaintiff Josue Romero, a domiciliary of New York State, is visually impaired and thus requires screen-reading software to read website content using [*2] his computer. (Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 1.) The Complaint uses the term "visually impaired" to refer to all people who have a visual acuity with correction of less than or equal to 20 x 200. (Id.)
Defendant 88 Acres Foods, Inc., a domiciliary of Delaware with its principal place of business in Massachusetts, is a seed-based food company that owns and operates www.88acres.com (the "Website"), which offers goods and services for online sale and delivery to the public. (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant sells and distributes its products throughout the United States, including in New York. (Id. ¶ 21.)
The Complaint alleges that on several occasions, the last of which occurred in October 2020, Plaintiff visited Defendant's Website to make a purchase but was denied access equal to that of sighted individuals due to several accessibility barriers. (Id. ¶¶ 25-26.) One barrier is the lack of alternative text ("alt-text"), which is an invisible code embedded beneath a graphical image on a website. Without alt-text, screen-reading software cannot vocalize a description of the graphic where a sighted user can see the graphic. (Id.) Several other barriers involve broken links. The Website has [*3] links that are improperly labeled, including the link for the subscription price. (Id. ¶ 31(c)). Without a label, screen-reading software is unable to properly interpret the link. (Id. ¶¶ 28-31.) There are also links that do not contain any text, redundant links, and linked images that lack alt-text. (Id. ¶¶ 28-30.) Plaintiff alleges that because these features are lacking, the Website is inaccessible to visually impaired customers, including Plaintiff, who need to use screen-reading software. (Id. ¶ 32.)
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9040 *; 2022 WL 158686
JOSUE ROMERO, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. 88 ACRES FOODS, INC., Defendant.
websites, personal jurisdiction, public accommodation, places, alleges, goods and services, long-arm, courts, visual impairment, transacting, sighted, ambiguous, customers, transaction of business, motion to dismiss, minimum contact, travel service, brick-and-mortar, disabilities, interactive, availed, Foods, links, words
Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Interpleader, Rule Interpleader, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Personam Actions, Challenges, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Jurisdiction, Constitutional Limits, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Due Process, Doing Business, Long Arm Jurisdiction, Computer & Internet Law, Internet Business, Jurisdiction, In Personam Jurisdiction, Placement of Product in Commerce, Minimum Contacts, Foreseeability, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Rights, Public Facilities, Scope, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Business & Corporate Compliance, Disability Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Covered Entities, Protection of Disabled Persons, Americans With Disabilities Act, Accommodations, Enforcement Actions, Remedies