In a move that has become somewhat familiar in recent months, a lawsuit alleging a credit union’s website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act was thrown out because the plaintiff was not eligible to join the CU in question and therefore had no standing to bring such a suit.
The latest case involved $79 million Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union, which is headquartered in Roanoke, Va. A federal district court in Virginia found the plaintiff did not have standing to sue.
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions filed an amicus brief in support of Roanoke Valley Community CU, and NAFCU’s brief was noted in the court's decision.
“This is the sixth complaint we have seen dismissed against a NAFCU-supported credit union and we are pleased to see the courts recognizing that these plaintiffs have no standing,” Dan Berger, NAFCU’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We will continue to defend our members against these meritless lawsuits.”
Credit unions, banks and other entities have faced a rash of lawsuits in the past year related to website accessibility. NAFCU said it 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,” the trade association said.
To date, credit unions in at least 25 states have been targeted with demand letters on this issue, with both NAFCU and the Credit Union National Association filing amicus briefs, meeting with regulators and other officials in order to find a solution.
This dismissal comes just one week after CUNA filed amicus briefs in cases involving CUs in Ohio and Texas.
As Credit Union Journal has reported, many financial institutions are an easy target for ADA suits, some plaintiffs’ lawyers have had to shift tactics after a number of cases were dismissed due to a lack of standing.
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