Marco Island to settle lawsuit over closed captioning

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
The city of Marco Island has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging ADA violations over the lack of closed captioning on city videos and its TV station.

The city of Marco Island has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to provide closed captioning for videos on the city's website and cable broadcasts.

Eddie I. Sierra, a disability rights advocate, filed suit in U.S. District Court, Middle District on July 26, which was then served on Council Chairman Jared Grifoni on Aug. 7.

City Attorney Alan Gabriel informed the council of the lawsuit and potential settlement agreement, which was required as part of the notice of conditional settlement. The council's settlement authorization is for an amount less than $10,000.

Sierra and Marco Island anticipated to finalize and approve the settlement agreement by Sept. 27.

Sierra's lawsuit against the city of Marco Island is one of many similar Title II lawsuits he has filed against government entities in Florida.

Title II requires governments to provide equal service to everyone.

In the Middle District, Sierra filed suits in the past against Marion County, Sarasota County, Charlotte County, the city of Naples and the city of Fort Myers. Sierra has filed more than 30 suits against government entities throughout Florida.

In recommending the settlement amount, Gabriel also noted that it would not open the city up to more litigation regarding closed captioning,

"Someone can't come in and sue us for the same item if that's what you're asking," Gabriel said.