Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action Lawsuit
Attention: All Legally Blind Individuals Who Attempted But Were Unable to Access or Who Were Deterred From Accessing Those Products or Services Available at Redbox Kiosks in All 50 States and the District of Columbia Except California During the Period Starting on September 17, 2014 and Continuing Through the Term of the Agreement
You have a right to object to the settlement described below.
Read this notice and instructions carefully.
This notice is to inform you about the proposed settlement that would resolve the class action lawsuit Jahoda, Nguyen, and National Federation of the Blind v. Redbox Automated Retail, Case No. 2:14-cv-01278-LPL (W.D. Pa.). The lawsuit asserts that Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (“Redbox”) violated federal law under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., by offering video and video game rental services at self-service, touch-screen kiosks that are not fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind and visually impaired people. Redbox believes that the kiosks are compliant with the ADA and denies all liability in the case. The settlement, which must be approved by the court, would resolve the lawsuit.
I. THE CLASS
Solely for purposes of effectuating this settlement, United States Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has certified a settlement class of all legally blind individuals who attempted but were unable to access or who were deterred from accessing those products or services available at Redbox kiosks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia except California during the period starting on Sept. 17, 2014 and continuing through the term of the agreement (the “Class”). Redbox kiosks located in California are excluded from the settlement because Redbox has already settled a separate class action lawsuit in California. Legally blind individuals include all persons with visual impairments who require the use of alternative techniques to accomplish tasks for which people without disabilities use sight. Some people who meet this definition have limited vision. Others have no vision.
II. SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
The settlement results in injunctive relief that will provide accessibility solutions for Redbox kiosks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia except California (because of a separate settlement in California under California law).
The settlement requires Redbox to modify kiosks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia except California so that legally blind customers will be able to browse, select, pay for, and return media (including DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and video games) without the assistance of another person. The modifications will include the addition of a standard headphone jack, a tactile keypad, and text-to-speech output that will read texts and commands aloud. Redbox will modify kiosks throughout the country so that, generally, in geographic areas where kiosks are spaced more than two miles from each other or it takes on average more than five minutes to drive from one kiosk to the next (measured by Redbox’s route time software), all kiosks are modified. In contrast, generally, in geographic areas where multiple kiosks are placed within two miles of each other or it takes on average five minutes or less to drive from one kiosk to the next (measured by Redbox’s route time software), a modified kiosk will be within the two-mile radius or five-minute drive time radius approximately 90% of the time. Redbox will ensure that any new locations have modified kiosks.
These modifications will begin no later than 180 days after final approval, or by April 28, 2018, and be completed within 36 months of final approval, or by Oct. 30, 2020. The National Federation of the Blind will monitor compliance with this settlement by testing kiosks which have been modified, and Redbox will provide quarterly reports to Class Counsel, commencing on Dec. 13, 3018, listing the locations where the kiosks have been modified during the preceding quarter.
The settlement also requires Redbox to update its website and its mobile application so that customers can identify the locations that have been modified. These changes will be made to Redbox’s website and mobile application by Dec. 31, 2017, and Redbox will update it every 60 days after this date to reflect which kiosks have been modified. Redbox will continue its remote customer service assistance program until modifications are complete. Its remote customer service assistance program allows Redbox customer service agents to remotely assist settlement class members with browsing, renting, paying for, and returning movies or other media from Redbox kiosks by remotely operating the kiosks.
The settlement provides for a plaintiff incentive payment to be made to plaintiffs Robert Jahoda in the amount of $5,000 and to plaintiff April Nguyen in the amount of $5,000. Class Counsel will be paid $400,000 for all attorneys’ fees and allowable litigation costs and expenses. The fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, negotiating the settlement, and monitoring compliance. Class Counsel’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees will be available at www.redboxadasettlement.com by Oct. 16, 2017 or can be requested from Class Counsel (contact information below) after Oct. 16, 2017.
III. THE EFFECT OF THE SETTLEMENT ON THE RIGHTS OF CLASS MEMBERS
All Class members will be bound by the terms of the settlement relating to the accessibility of Redbox kiosks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia except California if the settlement is approved by the court. In other words, once the settlement is approved, all Class Members will release and forever discharge claims they may have for injunctive relief related to the accessibility of the Redbox kiosks for people who are legally blind or visually impaired.
IV. OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
If you are a settlement Class member, you can ask the court to deny approval of this settlement by filing an objection with the court. You can give reasons why you think the court should not approve it. You must do so in writing. The court will consider your views. If the court denies approval of the settlement terms, there will be no settlement and the lawsuit will continue. You must object in writing and in accordance with the instructions below.
To object, you must file the objection with the Clerk of the Court either in person or by first class mail at the following address: Clerk of the Court, U.S. District Court, 700 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
Any objection must be received by Oct. 9, 2017 for it to be considered. All written objections and supporting papers must clearly set forth: (i) the name of the litigation, Jahoda, et al. v. Redbox Automated Retail, Case No. 2:14-cv-01278-LPL; (ii) the Class member’s full name, address, and telephone number; and (iii) the specific reasons for the objection, and any evidence or legal authority the Class member believes supports the objection.
Class members who fail to properly or timely file objections in writing with the court and in accordance with the procedures set forth above shall not be heard during the fairness hearing described below. Nor shall their objections be considered by the court.
V. FAIRNESS HEARING
The District Court will hold a fairness hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement. The fairness hearing will be held on Oct. 30, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern at the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 700 Grant St., Courtroom #7B, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. At this hearing, the court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections or requests to be heard, the court may consider them at the hearing. The court may also decide the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid to Class Counsel.
If you file an objection, you may also appear at the fairness hearing. You may appear at the hearing either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney. To be heard at the hearing, you must ask the court for permission to speak at the same in advance of the hearing. To do so, you must file, in writing, a Notice of Intention to Appear with the Clerk of the Court. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number and signature on the notice. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than Oct. 9, 2017, and be sent to: Clerk of the Court, U.S. District Court, 700 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The date of the fairness hearing may change without further notice to the class. You should check the settlement website at www.redboxadasettlement.com, or the U.S. Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.pawd.uscourts.gov to get the most current information concerning the date of the hearing.
VI. FURTHER INFORMATION
This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. You may seek the advice and guidance of your own private attorney, at your own expense, if you desire. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the settlement agreement available at www.redboxadasettlement.com, contact Class Counsel using the information below, access the court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access website at PACER.gov, or visit the U.S. District Court, 700 Grant St., Suite 3100, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays.
To obtain a copy of this notice in alternate accessible formats, contact Class Counsel using the information below.
VII. CONTACT INFORMATION
Please do not contact the Court, the Court Clerk’s office, or Redbox’s Counsel with questions about this settlement. Any questions must be directed to Class Counsel at 1-800-467-5241, or the address below.
Benjamin J. Sweet, Esq.
Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter, LLP
1133 Penn Ave., 5th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222