The Credit Union National Association and the Ohio Credit Union League on Tuesday filed an amicus brief on behalf of $446 million Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union, Dover, Ohio.
As more and more credit unions fight back against lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act relating to their websites, both major CU trade associations, and sometimes state leagues, have filed several amicus briefs urging dismissal of the case. On Monday, a federal district court in Virginia tossed a suit against ABNB Federal Credit Union on the grounds the plaintiff did not have standing to sue because of ineligibility for membership. A number of similar suits have been dismissed for that same reason already this year.
Also recently, CUNA and the Cornerstone CU League filed a brief in Texas in support of $41 million BCM Federal Credit Union in Houston.
In the Dover-Phila FCU case, CUNA and the Ohio CU League assert:
· 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 Ohio Credit Union League filed this brief as part of the continuing defense of credit unions facing lawsuits exploiting a law designed to protect disabled Americans,” Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA, said in a statement. “These lawsuits are meritless and harmful to credit unions and the communities these institutions serve. We will continue to analyze lawsuits around the country to see where CUNA/league defense of unfairly targeted credit unions can have the greatest impact.”
"As the state and federal credit union trade associations serving Ohio credit unions, the Ohio League and CUNA believe it is important to assist Ohio credit unions that have chosen the path of proceeding with litigation in the hopes of creating favorable case law in the Sixth Circuit,” said Ohio Credit Union League President Paul Mercer. “We continue to explore additional opportunities to leverage legal, legislative, and regulatory means to positively and strategically halt nuisance, predatory litigators from continuing to exploit the good intentions of the Americans With Disabilities Act.”