Appeals Court heard arguments in credit union’s ADA lawsuit

WASHINGTON, DC (October 31, 2018) — Credit Union National Association (CUNA) leaders attended a hearing at the Fourth Circuit of Appeals in a case involving Department of Labor Federal Credit Union (DOL FCU) related to a frivolous lawsuit alleging website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Based on the tone of the hearing, a panel of federal appeals court judges appeared to express skepticism over the plaintiff’s request to reinstate the high-profile ADA lawsuit brought against the credit union.

“It is troubling to see these meritless claims continue to impact credit unions across the nation. We are hopeful the court will agree with the arguments we raised in our amicus and issue a ruling in favor of DOL FCU that provides precedent helpful to others affected,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “CUNA and the leagues will continue to advocate for solutions to the problem of plaintiff’s attorneys exploiting the ADA to attack community financial institutions.”

Prior to yesterday’s hearing, which was held in Richmond, Virginia, CUNA filed an amicus brief in support of DOL FCU claiming that:

  • 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.

During the argument, members of the panel hearing suggested that in the absence of pleading eligibility in a credit union’s field of membership, it seemed unlikely that a plaintiff could satisfy the concrete injury and harm requirements necessary to constitutionally confer jurisdiction upon the court and legal standing to sue.

The landmark lawsuit is the first to reach a U.S. Court of Appeals and offers judges on the Fourth Circuit the opportunity to establish the first binding precedent on the issue at the federal appellate level.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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