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Whole Foods Market Access Class Action Settlement
By Mike Holter
A class action lawsuit settlement has been reached with Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM
) for failing to provide wheelchair access to customers at California stores. As a result, anyone who visited a California Whole Foods store between 2006 and 2011 and used a wheelchair or other mobility device can file a claim to receive as much as $4,000 from the class action settlement.
The Whole Foods settlement will resolve a 2009 class action lawsuit, entitled Kirby Velasco v. Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Food Markets, Inc., Whole Foods Market California, Inc., that alleges Whole Foods stores owned and/or operated by Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Market and Whole Foods Market California have physical barriers and other conditions that deny full and equal access to persons with mobility disabilities. The case alleges this constitutes violations of the Disabled Persons Act, Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Whole Foods denies it engaged in any illegal or discriminatory practices, but has agreed to provide $500,000 in damages to Class Members to resolve the litigation.
Class Members of the Whole Foods class action settlement include all persons who are mobility impaired or used or use a wheelchair, scooter or other mobility device and whose access to a Whole Foods store located in California during the period of December 21, 2006 and September 15, 2011 was hindered or deterred because of a physical barrier.
Class Members can receive a maximum of $4,000 from the Whole Foods class action settlement if there are less than 125 eligible claimants. If more than 125 eligible claimants file, then the amount of money you can receive will be reduced on a pro rata basis. The Whole Foods settlement will also require Whole Foods to hire a California Certified Access Specialist to inspect each of its California stores and correct physical barriers within 30 months.
To receive your cash payment from the Whole Foods Market class action settlement, you must submit a claim form postmarked on or before December 15, 2011.
Claim forms and more information on your rights in the California Whole Foods Disability Access Class Action Lawsuit Settlement
can be found at www.CAWholeFoodsAccessSettlement.com
Updated October 24th, 2011
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