- Name: Rebecca Castillo
- Filing date: January 29, 2021
- State of filing: California
- Name: PH Company LLC
- Website: www.purehempshop.com
- Industry: Beauty
- Summary: PH, aka Pure Hemp, manufactures hemp-based beauty products, pet products, and related hemp items.
On January 29, 2021, Rebecca Castillo filed a Complaint in California State court against PH Company LLC. Plaintiff Rebecca Castillo alleges that www.purehempshop.com is not accessible per the WCAG 2.0, Section 508 accessibility standard(s).
Plaintiff alleges issues in its Complaint including the following:
- The home page has graphics, links, and buttons that are not labeled or are incorrectly labeled, or lack alternative text (“Alt-text”). Alt-text is invisible code embedded beneath a graphical image on a website. Web accessibility requires that Alt-text be coded with each picture so that screen-reading software can speak the Alt-text where a sighted user sees pictures. Alt-text does not change the visual presentation, but instead a text box shows when the cursor moves over the picture. The lack of Alt-text on these graphics prevents screen-readers from accurately vocalizing a description of the graphics;
- Plaintiff encountered multiple unlabeled or mislabeled buttons and links. Without descriptive alternate text, Plaintiffs, and other screen- reader users, have no clue about the purpose or function of the button or link;
- Plaintiff encountered multiple pages containing insufficient navigational headings requiring Plaintiff to expend substantial additional time to access information; and,
- Plaintiff was unable to make a purchase because of an inaccessible checkout system.
Plaintiff asserts the following cause(s) of action in its Complaint:
VIOLATION OF THE UNRUH CIVIL RIGHTS ACT, CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE § 51 et seq
Plaintiff seeks the following relief by way of its Complaint:
- A Declaratory Judgment that at the commencement of this action Defendant owns, maintains, and/or operates its Website in a manner which discriminates against the blind, fails to provide access to blind or visually-impaired individuals, and that Defendant took no action that was reasonably calculated to ensure that its Website is fully accessible to, and independently usable by blind and visually-impaired individuals in violation of California’s Unruh Act, California Civil Code § 51 , et seq;
- A preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining Defendant from further violations of the UCRA, Civil Code § 51 et seq. with respect to “www.purehempshop.com.”
- A preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Defendant to take the steps
necessary to make www.purehempshop.com readily accessible to and usable by blind and visually-impaired individuals but Plaintiff hereby expressly limits the injunctive relief to require that Defendant expend no more than $50,000 thereon;
- Plaintiff seeks no relief related to any architectural barriers to access in this Complaint and expressly limits all claims to injunctive relief to modifications of Defendant’s policies and procedures related to the Website;
- An award of statutory minimum statutory damages of not less than $4,000 per violation pursuant to § 52(a) of the California Civil Code;
An additional award of $4,000.00 as deterrence damages for each violation pursuant to Johnson v. Guedoir, 218 F. Supp. 3d 1096; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150740 (USDC Cal, E.D. 2016);
- For attorneys’ fees and expenses pursuant to all applicable laws including, without limitation, Civil Code § 52(a);
- For pre-judgment interest to the extent permitted by law;
- For costs of suit; and,
- For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.