Some of the same law firms that filed numerous class action lawsuits against banks for owning or operating ATMs in alleged violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) are now turning their attention to similar lawsuits against banks who own or operate ATMs in alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   

A new class action complaint was filed against BB&T last week in federal court in Atlanta alleging that two of BB&T’s ATMs did not meet the accessibility features that are mandated by the ADA.  Thomas v. Branch Banking and Trust Company, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-00656.  The lawsuit was filed by a plaintiff who states that she is a blind individual that was denied access to two ATMs because the ATMs had no voice-guidance feature, no Braille instructions for initiating speech mode, and the function keys did not have the required tactile symbols.  The lawsuit seeks an injunction and payment of costs and attorneys’ fees.

If this new litigation follows the same trajectory as the EFTA class actions filed in the past year, we can expect similar lawsuits to continue to be filed against other banks over the next few weeks or months as the plaintiff and her attorney seek out other ADA violators.  If you have not checked your ATM for ADA compliance recently, now is the time to do so. 

Bryan Cave has defended numerous class actions involving ATMs in Georgia and across the country and is fully prepared to assist its banking clients in the defense of any new actions or in implementing a monitoring program.  If you have questions about this litigation, compliance with the statute, or the defense of these cases, please do not hesitate to call Bill Custer (404.572.6828), Jen Dempsey (404.572.6985), or Kalee Vargo (404.572.6639).