University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name National Federation of the Blind v. Scribd, Inc. DR-VT-0002
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-00162-wks ( D. Vt. )
State/Territory Vermont
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On July 29, 2014, a national membership organization of blind persons filed this lawsuit in the U. S. District Court of Vermont. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 12182, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Represented by private counsel and Disability Rights Advocates, ... read more >
On July 29, 2014, a national membership organization of blind persons filed this lawsuit in the U. S. District Court of Vermont. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 12182, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Represented by private counsel and Disability Rights Advocates, they asserted that Scribd discriminated against blind persons in violation of the ADA by failing to provide full and equal enjoyment of services provided by Scribd (i.e. exclusively visual interface inaccessible to the blind, buttons inaccessible using screen access software, etc.). Accordingly, the plaintiffs asked the district court to grant a permanent injunction pursuant to the ADA, requiring Scribd to take the steps necessary to make the services it provided through the Scribd website and apps fully accessible to and independently usable by blind persons and to maintain that accessibility. The plaintiffs also asked for declaratory and monetary relief.

Scribd filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, but the court denied the motion on March 19, 2015 ("March order"). Next, Scribd requested the court to permit an appeal to be taken from the March order under 28 U.S.C. §1292(b), asserting that the order involved a controlling question of law that involves a substantial ground for difference of opinion. However, the court denied the motion on May 29, 2015. Subsequently, the discovery proceeded.

On November 10, 2015, the plaintiff and Scribd settled the case and jointly moved the Court to dismiss the litigation with prejudice. The agreement includes contractual obligations to address accessibility concerns raised by the plaintiffs, provides a full release to Scribd, and provides that no Party admits wrongdoing or shall assert the Agreement as an admission of wrongdoing. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement. The agreement additionally provided that the court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the Settlement Agreement, and provided for a dispute resolution procedure, and in the case the dispute is not resolved, for the plaintiff to have the sole, contractual remedy of an order by the Court for specific performance of the term of the Agreement alleged to have been breached.

Soojin Cha - 04/07/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Defendant-type
Movie Theater or Other Entertainment facility
Disability
Visual impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Scribd, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are an individual and a national membership organization of blind persons.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
14-cv-162 (D. Vt.) 07/29/2014
DR-VT-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/29/2014
DR-VT-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 03/19/2015 (97 F.Supp.3d 565) (D. Vt.)
DR-VT-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion denying 37 Motion for Certification of Order for Interlocutory Review and denying as moot MOTION to Stay Action Pending Further Appellate Proceedings. 05/29/2015 (2015 WL 3454738) (D. Vt.)
DR-VT-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATED MOTION to Dismiss Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 41(a)(2) 11/19/2015
DR-VT-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sessions, William K. III (D. Vt.)
DR-VT-0002-0002 | DR-VT-0002-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Care, Gregory P. Esq. (Maryland)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
DeWeese, James T. Esq. (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Girma, Haben Esq. (Maryland)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Goldstein, Daniel F (Maryland)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Joselson, Emily J. (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Paradis, Laurence W. (California)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-0004 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Patton, Michele B. (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Rodgers, Rebecca J. Esq. (Maryland)
DR-VT-0002-0001 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Garbacz, Greg A. Esq. (California)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Heaton, Lindsey N. Esq. (California)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Karnedy, Gary F. (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Klausner, Tonia M. Ouellette Esq. (New York)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Mah, Liwen Esq. (California)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Meyer, Stuart P. (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Pulgram, Laurence F. (California)
DR-VT-0002-0004 | DR-VT-0002-9000
Vance, Natalie P. Esq. (California)
DR-VT-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Cassidy, Richard T (Vermont)
DR-VT-0002-9000

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