Is your ATM a Lawsuit Risk? First Suits Filed Over ADA Compliance

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Originally published on Independent Bankers Association of Texas (http://www.ibat.org/news/2012/07/02/is-your-atm-a-lawsuit-risk) - July 2, 2012.

You may have missed it last week. Not long after it issued its opinion on the Affordable Care Act, the Court announced its decision in First American Financial v. Edwards, the decision every banker had looked forward to as a cure for the recent epidemic of EFTA "statutory damages" class actions. So, how did the court rule? It didn't. Rather than issuing a decision the Supreme Court dismissed the case, effectively spitting the hook on this important question. And now, I have more bad news. The same lawyers who vigorously pursued the EFTA "class actions" for lack of a second sign on your ATM have found a new non compliance issue: are your ATMs accessible to the blind and persons with disabilities?

These lawyers say "no" and already have started filing "class actions" seeking injunctions and damages to enforce their position. A check of Court records shows that one set of firms has filed no less than ten such lawsuits in federal courts for the Northern and Eastern District of Texas since June 13. Experience teaches that these are the first of many such suits; it also teaches that how our industry reacts to these first cases will have a large impact on whether more are filed.

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