NPR sued over website accessibility

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A New York City law firm that has targeted numerous media companies over the past two years by alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act named NPR in a class action lawsuit filed Thursday.

The lawsuit filed in the Southern District Court of New York says that videos on NPR’s website that lack closed captioning “make it difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals” to use the site.

Plaintiff Phillip Sullivan Jr., who is deaf, attempted to watch a video accompanying the article “A 4-Minute Surgery That Can Give Sight To The Blind,” but it lacked closed captioning, the suit said.

By not providing closed captioning, the suit claims, NPR.org “violates the mandate of the [Americans with Disabilities Act] to provide ‘full and equal enjoyment’ of a public accommodation’s goods, services, facilities, and privileges.”

Lee Litigation Group, which represents Sullivan, has filed similar lawsuits against nearly two dozen media companies on the plaintiff’s behalf since 2016, according to court filings. Many of the cases have been resolved with settlements.

Lee Litigation is “one of the most active filers of class action lawsuits in the country,” according to Legal Newsline. It has filed approximately 150 lawsuits in New York federal courts alleging website violations of the ADA.

NPR declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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