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Disability Law

ADA Suit Claims Wal-Mart Checkout Terminals Are Too High for Wheelchair Users

Posted Jul 26, 2012 8:25 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A disability rights group claims in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that Wal-Mart’s check-out machines are too high for disabled customers using scooters or wheelchairs.

The suit (PDF) filed in San Francisco federal court claims the set-up violates state law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, report the Recorder, Reuters and the Associated Press. The complaint says disabled customers at some Wal-Mart stores in California can’t complete transactions on the point-of-sale machines unless they give their PIN numbers to cashiers.

The plaintiffs, the Center for Independent Living and two disabled individuals, seek class action status to target all California stores. They are represented by Disability Rights Advocates, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund and and the civil rights law firm Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson.

Laurence Paradis, executive director at Disability Rights Advocates, told the Recorder that he’s learning Wal-Mart stores across the country have similar problems, and the ADA claims could eventually be made on a national basis. He hopes the Wal-Mart case will “change the whole industry practice.”

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said in a statement that the retailer is committed to serving disabled people. "Our goal is that every POS machine be accessible within the regulations and guidelines of the ADA and California law," she said.

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