CUNA, league back Texas CU against frivolous ADA suit

April 2, 2018

CUNA continues its aggressive nationwide defense of credit unions facing frivolous lawsuits Friday by filing a brief with the Cornerstone Credit Union League. The brief supports Local 20 IBEW FCU, Grand Prairie, Texas, which has sued by a plaintiff alleging website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Credit unions around the country are facing lawsuits due to confusion over how the ADA applies to websites, and CUNA has made finding a solution a top advocacy priority. CUNA and the Cornerstone league filed a brief in a similar case in Texas in February, and the case was dismissed eight days later.

“This case is another instance where CUNA and the league feel our advocacy can help make a wider impact on similar cases around the country,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions continue to get hit with abusive suits exploiting a law designed to help disabled Americans, and we will continue to file briefs where we feel it is appropriate, in addition to our efforts on the regulatory and legislative fronts.”

The primary arguments of the joint brief are:

  • 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 has joined with leagues to file briefs in two Alabama cases, as well as in Illinois and Ohio, supporting credit unions on those states.

CUNA also has compliance resources available for member credit unions, designed to help them ward off legal threats.