At least 15 banks that own, operate, and/or lease automated teller machines in Pennsylvania have been hit recently with putative class action lawsuits alleging that their ATMs do not comply with the accessibility standards mandated by Department of Justice regulations.

The DOJ regulations, which implement the Americans with Disabilities Act, include requirements for speech output and tactilely discernable input controls to assist visually impaired customers.

Issued in 2010, the regulations took effect on March 15, 2011. All ATMs were required to meet the new requirements for visually impaired customers by March 15, 2012.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the lawsuits allege that the defendant banks failed to comply with various of the DOJ requirements for making ATMs accessible to visually impaired customers. The complaints seek injunctive relief directing the banks to bring their ATMs into compliance and attorney’s fees as allowed by the ADA and DOJ regulations.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group are currently defending banks named in these lawsuits. In addition, attorneys in the CFS Group regularly counsel bank clients on ADA compliance, including for their ATMs, websites, and branch locations.

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, the CFS Group will be holding a webinar titled ATM Accessibility for the Visually Impaired—Complying with the New ADA Regulation that will provide practical tips on how banks can test their ATMs for compliance, minimize their litigation exposure, and defend an ADA lawsuit. Register for the webinar here.

Ballard Spahr’s CFS Group is nationally recognized for its skill in defending banks and other consumer financial services providers in individual and class actions filed in state and federal courts throughout the country. The group also produces the CFPB Monitor, a blog that focuses exclusively on important Consumer Financial Protection Bureau developments. To subscribe, use the link provided to the right. For further information, please contact Practice Leader Alan S. Kaplinsky at 215.864.8544 or kaplinsky@ballardspahr.com; or Burt M. Rublin at 215.864.8116 or rublin@ballardspahr.com. 


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