Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh / photo by Jim Henderson
Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh / photo by Jim Henderson
Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh / photo by Jim Henderson

A Beaver County man filed his 66th lawsuit seeking class-action status in federal court last week, this time against the car parts store Pep Boys.

Robert Jahoda of Ambridge, who is legally-blind, alleges he was unable to shop on PepBoys.com because the online store does not make its website accessible to the seeing impaired. Jahoda alleges the company is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by not implementing technical measures that allow its website to be interfaced by screen reader software which converts text to audio for those with visual impairments.

Jahoda filed similar lawsuits last month against other companies including Brooks Brothers, the Hardrock Cafe, and Foot Locker, all alleging their websites are not readily accessible to the blind.

In September of last year, Jahoda filed a federal lawsuit against Redbox, alleging movie rental kiosks operated by the company rely on touch-screen interfaces which are impossible for the visually impaired to use without assistance of a sighted person.

The Beaver Countian first wrote about Robert Jahoda back in April of 2012, when the man filed several lawsuits against area banks alleging their drive-through ATM machines violated provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jahoda alleged at the time that the ATM machines did not permit the visually impaired to withdraw money without assistance.

It appears in every case filed before July of this year the companies reached confidential settlement agreements with Jahoda to end the litigation.

Robert Jahoda has been represented in all of his lawsuits by the Pittsburgh law firm of Carlson Lynch Ltd.

Lawsuits filed by Jahoda include:

THE HOME SAVINGS AND LOAN COMPANY OF YOUNGSTOW, OHIO filed 03/26/12 closed 07/18/12
1ST NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANK filed 03/28/12 closed 05/15/12
CHARLEROI FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK filed 04/02/12 closed 04/27/12
FIDELITY BANK, PaSB filed 04/10/12 closed 05/21/12
COMMERCIAL BANK & TRUST OF PA filed 04/12/12 closed 07/10/12
FIRST COMMONWEALTH BANK filed 04/13/12 closed 07/11/12
PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION filed 04/16/12 closed 02/01/13
CITIZENS BANK OF PENNYSLVANIA filed 04/17/12 closed 12/10/12
FIRST NIAGARA BANK, N.A. filed 04/18/12 closed 07/19/12
HUNTINGTON NATIONAL BANK filed 04/19/12 closed 08/23/12
NORTHWEST BANCORP, INC. filed 05/04/12 closed 09/10/12
CENTURY HERITAGE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION filed 05/09/12 closed 06/06/12
DOLLAR BANK filed 05/15/12 closed 10/22/12
MARS NATIONAL BANK filed 05/15/12 closed 08/07/12
USX FEDERAL CREDIT UNION filed 05/17/12 closed 10/23/12
APOLLO TRUST COMPANY filed 05/23/12 closed 02/19/13
FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK OF WESTERN PA filed 05/23/12 closed 09/06/12
ELDERTON STATE BANK filed 05/29/12 closed 09/07/12
STANDARD BANK PASB filed 06/08/12 closed 09/07/12
GATEWAY BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA filed 06/18/12 closed 08/20/12
FIFTH THIRD BANK filed 10/12/12 closed 05/02/13
ESB BANK filed 10/16/12 closed 02/19/13
FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA filed 10/17/12 closed 02/14/13
FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK filed 10/31/12 closed 12/28/12
WESBANCO BANK, INC filed 11/01/12 closed 02/14/13
FRICK TRI-COUNTY FCU filed 11/02/12 closed 03/19/13
FREEDOM UNITED FCU filed 11/05/12 closed 02/14/13
WEST-AIRCOMM FCU filed 11/05/12 closed 03/14/13
WASHINGTON COMMUNITY FCU filed 12/04/12 closed 02/14/13
WEST VIEW SAVINGS BANK filed 12/06/12 closed 01/30/13
UNITED COMMUNITY FCU filed 12/12/12 closed 05/08/13
UNION BUILDING AND LOAN SAVINGS BANK filed 12/17/12 closed 02/14/13
PROGRESSIVE-HOME FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION filed 12/19/12 closed 04/02/13
COMPASS SAVINGS BANK filed 12/20/12 closed 08/26/13
WESTCO FCU filed 12/28/12 closed 04/15/13
AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS, INC. filed 09/18/13 closed 01/17/14
BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY WAREHOUSE CORPORATION filed 09/27/13 closed 05/16/14
J.C. PENNEY COMPANY, INC. filed 09/30/13 closed 01/06/14
J. CREW GROUP, INC. filed 10/02/13 closed 03/14/14
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO. filed 10/03/13
HHGREGG, INC. filed 10/11/13 closed 08/28/14
DSW INC. filed 10/14/13 closed 02/28/14
ULTA SALON, COSMETICS & FRAGRANCE, INC filed 10/25/13 closed 02/28/14
THE TJX COMPANIES, INC. filed 10/29/13 closed 02/04/14
HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC. filed 11/21/13 closed 11/03/14
OFFICE DEPOT, INC. filed 12/03/13 closed 02/05/14
STERLING JEWELERS, INC. filed 12/04/13 closed 06/18/14
THE YANKEE CANDLE COMPANY, INC. filed 12/30/13 closed 04/25/14
EXPRESS, INC. filed 01/03/14 closed 03/27/14
WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC filed 01/15/14 closed 04/03/14
CHICO’S FAS, INC. filed 01/15/14 closed 03/17/14
ZALE CORPORATION filed 01/17/14 closed 07/08/14
J. CREW GROUP, INC. filed 01/17/14 closed 03/14/14
FRED MEYER JEWELERS filed 01/20/14 closed 01/06/15
BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP, INC. filed 01/20/14 closed 07/07/14
L BRANDS, INC. filed 01/23/14 closed 06/20/14
C & J CLARK AMERICA, INC. filed 01/23/14 closed 06/20/14
ASCENA RETAIL GROUP, INC. filed 01/23/14 closed 07/25/14
GANDER MOUNTAIN COMPANY, INC filed 02/04/14 closed 11/21/14
SPRINT CORPORATION filed 02/11/14 closed 06/03/14
REDBOX AUTOMATED RETAIL, LLC filed 09/17/14 closed 06/03/15
FOOT LOCKER, INC. filed 07/31/15
BROOKS BROTHERS, INC. filed 08/10/15
HARD ROCK CAFE INTERNATIONAL, INC. filed 08/27/15
THE PEP BOYS – MANNY, MOE & JACK filed 08/27/15

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John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Somebody has to put a stop to this nonsense. All its doing is costing everybody else more money. Wtf does he need at pep boys? He dont drive! Just like all the banks he sued. He has people driving him all over the area to find bank that werent in compliance. Bullshit. Looking for a quick check. Mr jahoda is the criminal here

     
  2. How bout every time a lawsuit is found frivolous a counter suit against the plaintiff is filed for damages…….then when he can’t pay he can do some jail time…….Johada’s are like cocktail roaches anyways.

     
  3. Check out the law firm of Carlson Lynch. They are the driving force behind it, and they have a history of this kind of thing. Jahoda and the ADA are puppets for their greed. This has nothing to do with accommodating visual impairments. That is just the vehicle they are riding to the bank — no pun intended.

     
  4. Sounds like he’s making a living suing. Someone has to stop it. I feel for his disability, but clearly he’s abusing the system. He’ll probably end up a millionaire and I’ll just keep working. Thats life.

     
  5. Should file class action lawsuit against greedy prick attorneys that clog our court systems to line there own pockets with these bullshit lawsuits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
      • Wonder if hes ping ponged through the McDonalds Drive Thru ? The menu doesnt have brail. I feel for ya man but enough is enough.

         
      • You don’t have to feel for him, FYI. Google him and trace his history, from now back to his glory days as a Golden Boy in sports at the Western PA School for the Blind. Also, he is legally blind, not totally blind, and that is an issue by itself. He’s been on a free ride by society for a long, long time, and this fleecing of people by him and the law firm is just icing on the cake. The ADA was not created with this kind of exploitation in mind. It was to help people who needed it. This kind of thing is immoral, and possibly illegal as a nuisance law suit, and other people in the deaf/blind communities know that, otherwise, everyone would want a piece of the action, and they would be following his lead en masse. It could end when a firm with lots of money challenges them and makes them pay in court, instead of rolling over and playing dead by paying them pocket change to avoid the inconvenience.

         
      • I feel his bitter hatred for being legally blind. He should put his infinite wisdom to better use, Hes taking advantage of the system for sure. While the courthouse crews are more worried about playing popularity contests or who can screw who out of a job and backstabbing each other or planning where the next picnic will be this sort of thing is going on. While they are all playing games they are letting guys like this get away with murder. Perhaps they should start studying the law books like they are paid to do.

         
  6. Look at the dates on the files. They are mostly EVERY DAY for months!!! This guy is a scam artist!!!! He looks for big named companies and tries to squeeze money out of them. I think EVERY PENNY he gets from those suits should be going straight to the Association for the Blind!! NOT his pocket!!!

     
  7. Who will the next 66 be? It’s time to stonewall the guy and his lawyer friend for awhile and pool resources. Unless it’s a carefully planned out and sequential assault, targeting businesses one at a time. But surely there is some lead time to prepare and group.

    It would be interesting to demand legal proof of his blindness, or degree of visual impairment, to be presented in court. Demand a neurological screening at Eye and Ear Hospital in Pittsburgh, not a Snellen Eye Chart visual test that he can fake in some doctor’s office. Wire the guy up, present the stimuli, read the computerized results. It is possible that he is relying on visual test proof from the time when he was first identified in elementary school or before as visually impaired, and such more sophisticated tests were not available.

    Think about what would happen if the guy is faking it. Charges of fraud up the wazoo, fines and a return of all monies extorted — returned from him and the law firm. Perhaps even jail time if it were proven to be deliberate.

    Wounded warriors and vets sometimes have to beg and wait for legitimate medical help and compensation, while this guy and the law firm exploit the system. Surely there is justice somewhere.

     
  8. Well what type of damages is he requesting?? Is he trying to get a pay day, or just simply that they fix the website???

     
  9. This is what attorneys call “Nuisance Cases”, and said cases have a certain number attached to them called “Nuisance Cost”. This is the amount of money the defense is willing to pay just to make the plaintiff go away. Plaintiff’s attorneys know this and will go after businsees filing redicilous complaints in their suits, fully knowing that the defense will never take this court and would much rather pay the nuisance cost to make these people go away.

    People who act in this manner are shamful and are not acting in the best interest of their clients. They are only concerned with lining their own pockets in the name of “justice”. Honestly, one of the lowest professions in the world is civil plaintiffs attorney.

     
  10. Totally ridiculous. Yes there are needs to be met. Sounds like someone has too much time on their hands and is being sue happy!!!! Shameful that he DOES have the right to keep filing these law suits. He must get rides from place to place to be able to file all these suits to prove they are not set up for the blind.

     
  11. Why does a drive-up ATM have to be accessible for the visually impaired? If you’re visually impaired you shouldn’t be driving.

     
  12. I think you are all wrong about this guy. He is simply following the law that was created by politicians. A companies ignorance of the law does not mean he is frivolous in filing complaints against them. Just because he has a handicap means nothing in these lawsuits. Anyone could file them but he is more aware than most. I suppose you all would jump on the guy who championed wheel chair ramps as well. It is not like the ADA was signed into law yesterday.

     
  13. If you have a website that blind people can’t use, you are not providing equal access. There are things you can do to make you web pages and web applications accessible to blind people and others with disabilities, and it is the law that you do so, but people don’t do it because there are no consequences. We have the law for a reason, and if it takes suing people to get them to do what they are legally required to do, then so be it. Hats off to you, Mr. Jahoda!

     

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