With $16 million-asset Aurora Policeman Credit Union, Aurora, Ill., facing a lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, on Wednesday it received some help.
The Credit Union National Association and the Illinois Credit Union League on Wednesday filed an amicus brief on behalf of Aurora Policeman CU. As more and more credit unions have been hit with suits alleging ADA violations relating to their websites, both the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and CUNA -- in concert with state credit union league partners -- have been coming to their aid.
Most recently, CUNA and the Cornerstone Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in Texas in support of $41 million BCM Federal Credit Union in Houston.
On Feb. 23, a federal district court in Virginia dismissed a lawsuit targeting Department of Labor Federal Credit Union. In that case, the court found the plaintiff did not have the standing to sue the credit union, as he was not eligible for membership and would not likely utilize the CU’s services.
In the joint brief for the Aurora Policeman CU case, the primary arguments by CUNA and the Illinois Credit Union League include:
· The plaintiff lacks standing to file suit against the credit union;
· A website is not a place of public accommodation;
· Applying Title III of the ADA to websites renders the statute impermissibly vague in the absence of any implementing regulations by the Department of Justice
· The court should dismiss the complaint pursuant to the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine
“CUNA and the Illinois league filed this brief as part of our continuing defense of credit unions facing frivolous lawsuits alleging website noncompliance under ADA,” Jim Nussle, CUNA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “CUNA will continue to push back on these meritless lawsuits that are being brought even when the plaintiff may not be eligible for the credit union’s field of membership as is the case in this litigation once again. We will continue to support our credit unions and their members, who are being unfairly targeted by plaintiffs' firms seeking to exploit uncertainty about what is required.”
CUNA issued a further statement saying the trade group “continues to evaluate” similar lawsuits and engage with the Department of Justice and on Capitol Hill. Several members of Congress, including Rep. Bob Woodall (R-Ga.), have pledged to support credit unions in finding a solution to suits alleging ADA violations.