The Credit Card Industry needs a Lerach Attack

Wall Street Journal Editorial page nemesis Bill Lerach may be headed to the slammer for his misdeeds – but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need aggressive class action lawsuits to rein in misbehaving corporations. Disagree? Check out the cover story of the Nov 12 issue of Business Week – it’s about credit card companies who are trying to collect debts that have already been canceled by bankruptcy courts. The article is called Prisoners of Debt (here’s the podcast on the story). Egregious doesn’t begin to describe the behavior of these people.

Of course, a separate but equal helping of scorn should be doled out to our esteemed Congress who could end this travesty in a heartbeat, if only they weren’t so bought and paid for by Mastercard and Visa. But who knows – perhaps as restitution, Fred Phelps will be required to demonstrate in Delaware carrying signs saying “God hates usury.” It could happen!

Target becomes a target

Target is being sued by the National Federation of the Blind for having an inaccessible website. Two specific items were cited:

  • The use of image maps (which screen readers cannot handle)
  • A lack of alt tags on images

Now if using image maps is a core part of your design, well, that’s a tough one – but how hard is it to add an alt tag, for heaven’s sakes? By the way, if they had validated their HTML, this issue would have been uncovered during testing rather than in the courtroom – another reason to comply with web standards and validate your code.