Two separate complaints were sued on Thursday in the Southern District of New York. The first complaint was filed by Richard Meija against J & M Foods, Inc. (J & M), while the second was filed by Jose Zarzuela against Gather Foods Corporation (GFC). Each suit was a class action complaint against the respective food companies citing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the New York City Human Rights Law.
Plaintiff Meija, per the complaint, is a visually-impaired and legally blind person. Meija alleges that defendant J & M failed to design, construct, maintain, and operate its website in a way that would make it fully accessible and independently usable by plaintiff Meija or other visually-impaired and legally blind people. Meija asserts that they have been “denied access to the equal enjoyment of goods and/or services offered on the website.”
The complications that plaintiff Meija discovered on the J & M website led them to conclude that the defendant’s website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), since the website “is not equally accessible to blind and visually-impaired consumers.” Further, the J & M website allegedly does not follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accesibility Guidelines, which assert practices that should be followed to ensure that the site is accessible to blind and visually-impaired people.
Plaintiff Zarzuela is also a visually-impaired and legally blind person. In June of 2022, Zarzuela attempted to use GFC’s website, but found various accessibility issues with the website. Similarly to the J & M suit, Zarzuela alleges that defendant GFC’s website is in violation of the ADA as well as the NYCHRL since the websites discriminate against consumers who are blind and visually-impaired.
Each case seeks statutory money, actual, and punitive damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, an order requiring the defendants to make their websites compliant with both the ADA and the NYCHRL, a declaration that the defendants’ current websites are discriminatory, class certification, litigation fees, a trial by jury, and any other relief deemed proper by the court.
The plaintiffs in each case are represented by Mizrahi Kroub LLP.