Ohio court dismisses ADA website case against BMI Federal

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The industry picked up another legal victory in the ongoing battle about how the Americans Disabilities Act applies to credit union websites.

This time an Ohio court dismissed a suit against BMI Federal Credit Union in Dublin, Ohio. A handful of credit unions, including BMI, have faced allegations that their websites aren't accessible and don't meet the standards set out in the ADA.

In June, the Credit Union National Association and the Ohio Credit Union League each filed an amicus brief in support of the $496 million-asset BMI in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in the case.

On Monday, Judge Algenon Marbley granted BMI’s motion to dismiss. The court ruled the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. This follows several similar dismissals in which the courts determined the plaintiff was not eligible to join the credit union in question.

“We are pleased that another court has ruled that this type of claim against a credit union lacks standing and granted the motion to dismiss,” Jim Nussle, CUNA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Credit unions and disabled Americans lose when these kinds of lawsuits are filed to exploit uncertainty in the statute and CUNA will continue its efforts to find a permanent solution.”

Both CUNA and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions have been actively addressing the ADA website litigation for months, including filing amicus briefs and lobbying Congress and the Department of Justice to address uncertainties regarding if and how the ADA applies to websites.

In January, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed a lawsuit against Smart Financial Credit Union in Houston. The court said the plaintiff did have standing as he “seemed to fall” in the $693 million-asset Smart Financial's field of membership. However, the court ruled a website is “not a physical place,” meaning the credit union would not be liable under the ADA.

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ADA Lawsuits Websites Jim Nussle CUNA NAFCU DoJ Ohio