ATM Lawsuits Keep Coming

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A blind woman in texas has sued 19 banks and credit unions for their alleged failure to comply with updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiff, Victoria Gilkerson, says she had a valid ATM card when her driver took her to various machines to test them for accessibility to the blind after the March 15 effective date for the new rules.

Gilkerson is represented by R. Bruce Carlson, a prolific tort lawyer from the Pittsburgh area. He represents another woman who has filed at least five ADA suits, and represents Robert Jahoda, the legally blind Western Pennsylvania man whose 18 lawsuits against banks and credit unions were reported on in this space in July. Since then, Jahoda has sued at least two more institutions.

In several of the Jahoda cases that have been settled, the bank or credit union agreed to upgrade its ATMs and paid no damages, except tens of thousands of dollars in fees for Jahoda's lawyer, Carlson.

Another serial plaintiff in Pennsylvania had an ADA-related complaint against the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union thrown out last month by a federal judge. One of the arguments made by the credit union: the plaintiff lives about 54 miles from the ATM in question, so he could not prove he was injured by not being able to use this particular ATM, as there are many ATMs much closer to his home.

The judge also dismissed an ATM fee disclosure complaint brought by the same plaintiff against Philadelphia FCU.

The credit union produced a photo to prove that it did in fact have a fee disclosure notice posted on the outside of a machine in Bloomsburg, Pa., despite the plaintiff's claim to the contrary.

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