A California Court of Appeal has ruled that where a national chain store had some locations where store aisles were not wide enough to be ADA wheelchair compliant, the retailer’s opening of new stores in the area with wider, accessible aisles does not satisfy or excuse ADA aisle compliances in existing stores. However, in this case, the court found that the removal of barriers to access was not readily achievable due to significant loss of selling space and profit, and therefore is not legally mandated, provided the retailer offers alternative means to make merchandise available to disabled individuals who are denied physical access, for example by customer assistance. (Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyn’s LLC, California Court of Appeal No. A106199, July 30, 2008)
Also, another California Court of Appeal reaffirmed the ruling that merchants can request personal identification from customers using credit cards to obtain refunds on merchandise, due to the unique loss exposures, despite the state statute which forbids requiring such personal ID for credit card purchases themselves. (Absher v. AutoZone, Inc., California Court of Appeal No. B202773, July 26, 2008).