Terms In Website Access Class Suit Preliminarily Approved

21 Oct 2021

New Settlement Terms In Website Access Class Suit Preliminarily Approved

(October 13, 2021, 10:40 AM EDT) -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 30 granted preliminary approval of new settlement terms that will provide $112,500 in addition to injunctive relief in a class suit accusing a juice company of failing to offer a website accessible to those with visual impairments.

Valerie Brooks, a visually impaired and legally blind individual, filed a class complaint against Pressed Juicery Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Brooks alleged in her August 2019 complaint that the defendant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et seq., by failing to design and operate a website that is fully accessible to visually impaired people.

(Valerie Brooks, et al. v. Pressed Juicery, Inc., et al., No. 19-1687, E.D. Calif., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189507) (Order available. Document #43-211015-022R.)

Brooks and Pressed Juicery moved for preliminary approval of a settlement agreement in April 2020. Under the agreement, Pressed Juicery agreed to make changes to its website and pay Brooks a service enhancement payment of $2,500 and attorney fees not exceeding $35,000.

Preliminary approval was granted in September 2020.

Renewed Motion Filed

However, the parties filed a renewed motion for preliminary approval the following month after receiving input from nonprofit organizations on behalf of potential class members. They stated that under a new agreement, Pressed Juicery would provide the injunctive relief plus a $112,500 settlement, which would include $75,000 to be distributed to class members. The service enhancement award and attorney fees, which remained unchanged, will also come from the fund.

Chief Judge Kimberly J. Mueller granted approval in a two-page order. The judge directed Brooks’ counsel to be prepared to discuss at the final hearing “why they did not seek the settlement fund earlier in the parties’ discussions.”

Counsel

Brooks is represented by Thiago Coelho of Wilshire Law Firm in Los Angeles.

Pressed Juicery is represented by Arlene K. Kline, Damien P. Delaney and Zoe J. Bekas of Akerman LLP in Los Angeles.

Additional information

https://www.acb.org/notice-proposed-settlement-class-action-and-fairness-hearing (opens in a new window)

(Additional documents available:
Joint motion for preliminary settlement approval. Document #43-211015-023M.
Notice of errata. Document #43-211015-024X.
Pressed Juicery’s letter. Document #43-211015-025X. Brooks’ complaint. Document #43-211015-026C.)

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