Credit unions are winning ADA cases, but will it last?

Since September 2017, more than 100 credit unions in 14 states and the District of Columbia have been sued over this issue.

A Springfield, Va.-based credit union has become the latest to prevail in a lawsuit over the accessibility of its website, fueling more speculation over whether other judges assigned to similar cases around the country will see things the same way.

On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a case claiming that Washington Gas Light Federal Credit Union, which has $115 million in assets and about 8,400 members, operated a website that wasn’t fully accessible to blind users and thus violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The dismissal is at least the fourth to occur in the Eastern District of Virginia (one of those cases has since been refiled; another is on appeal, however).

Field of membership provisions influenced the decision to throw out the case.

“Plaintiff has pleaded no facts to suggest that he is, or ever has been, or ever intends to be, an employee of Washington Gas Light Company or any qualifying entity. He thus fails to plead that he is eligible to be a member of WGLFCU, or that he could ever take advantage of any of the services offered by defendant,” the judge wrote.


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