CUNA files appellate court-level brief in ADA lawsuit

June 21, 2018

CUNA filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Griffin v. DOL FCU Wednesday, its latest legal advocacy efforts to defend credit unions facing threats due to uncertainty regarding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites. A judge in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed the lawsuit in February, and now that it has reached the appellate level, a decision will provide binding precedent for the Fourth Circuit.  

“CUNA has engaged its legal advocacy in defense of credit unions where we feel we can make the most impact and secure favorable precedent to help the entire credit union system against these predatory lawsuits,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We’re confident that this appellate case will be an important milestone in credit unions’ battle against frivolous lawsuits exploiting a law designed to protect disabled Americans.”

CUNA’s primary arguments on behalf of DOL FCU are:

  • The district court correctly found that the appellant lacks standing, and had not suffered concrete and particularized harm because he does not meet the eligibility requirements to become a member of DOL FCU;
  • A website is not a place of public accommodation, and therefore the ADA does not apply; and
  • 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.