A US class action against the Walt Disney Company for the alleged inaccessibility of its websites has reached an out of court settlement ahead of a trial that had been planned for January 2012, E-Access Bulletin has learned.
On 29 June, California district judge Dolly Gee gave permission for three blind women from California and Kansas to proceed with a class action alleging Disney’s are inaccessible to screen reader programs, hampering the ability of blind users to make reservations for the company’s theme parks and download electronic tickets.
The three women are represented by Andy Dogali at Florida-based law firm Forizs & Dogali, alongside Los Angeles-based attorney Eugene Feldman. Dogali has now told E-Access Bulletin the terms of a settlement have been agreed by the parties, subject to court approval as required by US law.
“We are presently documenting the settlement, so most of the precise details remain confidential, although I expect the process to require no more than another few weeks”, he said. “The supportive documents will be publicly filed in the very near future, along with the request for approval.”
The news of a pre-trial settlement may disappoint some observers, as a January trial would have raised the issue of a need for greater corporate web accessibility worldwide. Last month Samantha Fothergill, senior legal policy officer at UK blindness charity RNIB, said the fact that a company with such a high profile was being sued was bound to have an effect on corporate behaviour and lobbying campaigns elsewhere.