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Wal-Mart sued by disabled over hard-to-reach payment machines

San Francisco -- A federal lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was filed on Wednesday by disability rights advocates claiming that payment machines are inaccessible to California customers in wheelchairs and on scooters.

Although the group admits that most retailers place POS terminals out of reach of disabled customers, it readily admits it is targeting Wal-Mart because “they are the biggest retailer in the world … They should be able to do it right,” said Arlene Mayerson, directing attorney at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.
 
The plaintiffs allege that Wal-Mart knowingly placed point-of-sale terminals beyond the reach of disabled customers at many of its more than 200 stores in California — in violation of state law and the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by the Berkeley-based Center for Independent Living and two disabled individuals. They are represented by the groups Disability Rights Advocates and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit so that it could cover all disabled people who have had trouble using payment devices at Wal-Mart stores in California.

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