A Special Note from the Editor

Photograph of Barbara Pierce
Barbara Pierce

Occasionally in the blindness field a circumstance so extraordinary arises that it demands unusual treatment in these pages. The recent U.S. District Court decision in the Eastern District of New York in the case of Independent Living Aids versus Maxi-Aids is such an instance. The entire March issue is, therefore, devoted to telling the story of this case as it unfolded. We have tried to do so chiefly in the actual words of the trial transcript prepared by the court reporter, so to the lay mind the narrative line may sometimes seem somewhat repetitive and slow-moving. But it seemed important as far as possible to let the principals tell the story in their own words and to let their actions, as described in their testimony, speak for themselves. It is mportant, however, to remember that the case is by no means over. As the counsel for the   defense,    Mark Mulholland, Esq., told me in no uncertain terms, this decision was only the first round in this case. He explained that in copyright infringement cases the initial damages established by the jury are quite likely—more likely than in almost any other type of case—to be reduced by later court action.

Nonetheless, for four weeks people testified in open court about the actions of the defendants and the plaintiff and the policies of the two companies. After hearing the evidence and spending time carefully considering what they had heard, a jury came to certain conclusions. That story and those conclusions have implications and repercussions for the entire blindness field. For this reason we have devoted the March issue to an account of this trial and only this trial. The April issue will be published soon and will contain the convention information for which everyone has been eagerly waiting. Meanwhile we commend to your attention the important matter of Independent Living Aids and Marvin Sandler versus Maxi-Aids and the Zaretsky family. Read carefully and ponder.