February 23, 2018

Another CU's lawsuit over ADA dismissed

In another victory for credit unions facing litigation over unclear website requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal district court in Virginia found that the plaintiff to such a lawsuit did not have standing to sue the credit union because he was not eligible for membership and would not likely use the credit union's services.

"NAFCU is pleased to see another lawsuit dismissed as the court agreed the plaintiff had no reason to sue our member," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We have actively defended our members in this fight for months, and will continue to do so as long as these meritless lawsuits continue."

NAFCU attended the credit union's hearing in this case Feb. 16.

This is the second case in which a credit union has seen a victory. Last month, a case was dismissed as the federal district court also found that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue the credit union. In addition, the court indicated that a website is not a place of public accommodation, thus certain ADA protections were not triggered. In this case, NAFCU filed an amicus brief supporting the credit union.

Credit unions, banks and other entities have faced a rash of lawsuits in the past year related to website accessibility. NAFCU and its members strongly support the protections of the ADA and efforts to ensure individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against and have equal access to financial services. However, this is best achieved through clear guidance and standards for website compliance, not through meritless and costly lawsuits.

NAFCU has been active on ADA, engaging with various stakeholders on this issue, including with Congress, states' attorneys general and the Justice Department to clarify regulatory standards for websites.

Resources for dealing with the ADA issue can be found here.