Western Union class action lawsuit alleges website inaccessible to blind and visually impaired

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Overview of the Western Union Class Action:

  • Who: Plaintiff Miriam Cruz has filed a class action lawsuit against Western Union Holdings Inc.
  • Why: Western Union’s website is allegedly not accessible to blind people, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and New York State law.
  • Where: Western Union’s class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York.

Western Union’s website is not accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired, according to a class action lawsuit filed Sept. 13 in federal court in New York.

Plaintiff Miriam Cruz is legally blind and needs screen-reading software to access website content from her computer, according to the Western Union class action lawsuit.

Although there are a wide variety of technologies available to make websites accessible to blind and visually impaired people, Cruz says Western Union would have “chosen to rely on an exclusively visual interface.”

As a result, people who are blind must rely on the assistance of sighted people to access Western Union’s website, which violates basic equal access rights under federal and state law. according to the Western Union website class action lawsuit.

Western Union Class Action Says ADA and New York Law Require Websites to Be Accessible to Visually Impaired Persons,

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Under the ADA, discrimination includes barriers to independent living and equal opportunity for people with disabilities, such as barriers to accessing websites and other public accommodations.

New York law also requires public accommodations to guarantee access to goods, services and facilities, the Western Union class action says.

Cruz points to a 2010 US Census Bureau report which indicates that there are more than 8 million visually impaired people in the United States, of which 2 million are blind.

The internet is a valuable resource for people because it allows them to access websites and find information about businesses, their locations, hours of operation and the goods and/or services they offer, says she.

Access to websites is especially important for people who are blind, and the lack of an accessible website can deter them from visiting physical business locations, Cruz alleges.

Western Union’s class action seeks a permanent injunction to change the company’s practices so that its website becomes and remains accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers. Cruz is also seeking compensatory damages on behalf of the proposed class.

In recent months, several companies have been hit by Website Accessibility Class Actions. Cruz also recently filed a Collective action against Benihana alleging that the company’s website is not fully accessible to persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Do you use assistive technology to access websites? Let us know what you think of the Western Union class action lawsuit in the comments!

Cruz is represented by Mars Khaimov of Mars Khaimov Law PLLC.

The Western Union Class Action is Miriam Cruz vs. Western Union Holdings Inc.Case No. 1:22-cv-05462, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.



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