CUs achieve appellate-level win in frivolous ADA suit

July 16, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of a credit union facing a frivolous lawsuit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act Monday. CUNA and the Wisconsin and Illinois Credit Union Leagues filed a brief in support of Aurora Policemen CU, Aurora, Ill., in Carello v. Aurora Policemen CU.

Credit unions around the country have faced lawsuits due to uncertainty with how the ADA applies to websites. This is the second win this year for credit unions at the appellate level, the first coming in the Fourth Circuit. Both wins create binding precedents within their respective circuits.

“We’re encouraged to see another appellate-level victory in CUNA-League efforts to defend credit unions from legal actions that exploit a law protecting disabled Americans,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “CUNA will continue its engagement in the legal and regulatory arenas to find a permanent solution that ends the uncertainty in the statute while ensuring the protections in place under the ADA remain in place.”

"The court’s decision to dismiss the recent lawsuit against the Aurora Policemen Credit Union is a great victory," said Tom Kane, president/CEO of the Illinois Credit Union League. "It’s a tremendous example of collaboration within our industry that the League and CUNA could help support the credit union in their courageous act of fighting this frivolous lawsuit."

Judge Thomas Durkin found that the plaintiff could not claim an injury-in-fact, which is required to establish standing in the lawsuit.

CUNA has pushed the Department of Justice to clarify this issue, and its efforts have led numerous legislators from the House and Senate to write to the DOJ calling for a solution. State credit union leagues also coordinated a letter to the DOJ from 19 state attorneys general, also calling for clarity.