KMART TO PAY $13 MILLION: Kmart has agreed to pay $13 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging failure to comply with disability access rules. Under the terms of the agreement, filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court in Denver, Kmart will pay $8 million in cash and $5 million in gift cards to class-action plaintiffs in seven states. The settlement gives the discounter 7 1/2 years to bring its stores nationwide into compliance with federal disability access rules. The rules govern aisles, counters, rest rooms, fitting rooms and parking lots. The states involved in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Texas, all of which have minimum damages laws for noncompliance. The lawsuit was filed in 1998. Kmart last year merged with Sears, Roebuck & Co. Kmart operates 1,400 stores, but it could not be ascertained how many locations would need to be upgraded to meet the compliance rules.
P.R. DEPARTURES: It seems to be the season of auf Wiedersehens in Seventh Avenue public relations offices. After Alexandra Kimball and Lauren Davis left Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, respectively, Victoria Ashley, Bill Blass’ director of p.r., is leaving after one year. Ashley joined Blass from stints at MGM and Miramax Films.