Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Big companies line up against deaf woman to support eBay

eBay Logo
For three years we've been following the lawsuit filed again eBay by a deaf Missouri woman who claims the site is violating ADA law. Here's how it happened: All Melissa Earll wanted to do is sell some used books and memorabilia on the site. But Earll was not allowed to register as a seller because she is deaf. The company requires a phone in order to verify their identities. She spend a couple of months trying to work something out with eBay, but the company wouldn't accept any other verification--eBay refused to allow her to use a text message service. She sued in 2010, and you can read about the original lawsuit here and her appeal earlier this year here. Earll is asking the 9th Circuit to revive her case to revive her discrimination lawsuit but she's running into some big opposition. A group that represents Amazon, Facebook, Google, and other Internet companies called the Internet Association is lining up on the side of Ebay, claiming in court documents, these online commerce sites could be ruined if they are required to accommodate users with disabilities. The court filing claims “applying the ADA to all Web sites may place uncertain, conflicting, burdensome, and possibly ruinous obligations on members of The Internet Association.” The document goes on to say that making their sites ADA compliant is just too complicated to do.