Tech Industry

Kozmo discrimination claims rescinded by group

The civil rights group that filed a race-discrimination lawsuit against Kozmo.com in April publicly reverses its position on the matter.

The civil rights group that filed a race-discrimination lawsuit against Kozmo.com in April publicly reversed its position on the matter Tuesday.

As first reported by CNET News.com and according to a statement Tuesday, the Equal Rights Center, which accused Kozmo of excluding service to certain communities based on race, will no longer pursue its legal claims.

After reviewing the evidence, the Washington, D.C.-based civil rights group found that race was not a factor when Kozmo drew its service boundaries in the U.S. capital city, David Berenbaum, a spokesman for the Equal Rights Center, said in a statement.

New York-based Kozmo and the Equal Rights Center also announced that the two have partnered to look for ways to make the Internet more accessible to minorities.

In addition, Kozmo has agreed to contribute $125,000 to that effort.

"We applaud Kozmo's commitment to assist in reducing the digital divide and hope that many other Internet companies will follow their lead," Berenbaum said.

Kozmo has always denied the discrimination accusations. In September, a federal district court judge dismissed the case, brought by the Equal Rights Center and two Washington, D.C., residents. The Equal Rights Center said it would file a new case against Kozmo in state court, which it has now agreed not to do.

"Kozmo is committed to helping underserved communities access the Internet, and we're looking forward to working with the Equal Rights Center to bridge the digital divide in Washington, D.C.," Kozmo chief executive Gerry Burdo said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Kozmo expanded its operations to include more predominately minority communities in many of the 11 cities it operates in, including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago.