October 10, 2017

NAFCU: ADA bill a "step in the right direction" on frivolous lawsuits

NAFCU noted support for the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) in a letter Tuesday to bill author Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas. The bill would likely curb frivolous lawsuits against credit unions filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee last month.

H.R. 620 would set conditions for filing civil actions over the failure to remove an architectural barrier to an existing public place. It would also require the Justice Department to develop a program that would educate state and local governments, among others, on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for those with a disability. The program could also include training for professionals to provide guidance for remediation in the event of potential ADA violations.

"NAFCU has long been supportive of making sure everyone has the ability to properly access capital and recognizes the important intentions of the American's with Disability Act (ADA)," wrote NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler.

"Your legislation is a step in the right direction, addressing the frequent scheming 'drive-by' lawsuits filed by trial attorneys, manipulating the system to best line their pockets instead of assisting the disabled community," he continued. "It is important that small businesses, such as credit unions, have the time and ability to properly comply with these ADA regulations …"

Thaler told Poe the association will continue to work with him on ways to expand some of the bill's protections, such as extending its coverage to website lawsuits, as the legislation advances.