May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

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May 26, 2020

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Michigan ATMs Hit With Class Action Lawsuits Alleging Non-Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements

The first ATM accessibility class-action lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") were filed in federal district court in Michigan earlier this month.  The class-action lawsuits request a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to bring their ATMs into full compliance with the ADA requirements, request that a future compliance-monitoring program be put in place, and also request an unspecified award of costs and attorney's fees. 

These new lawsuits follow a wave of similar suits brought by the same plaintiffs' attorney against financial institutions operating in western Pennsylvania and Ohio.  The two Michigan lawsuits specifically quote a March 2012 Wall Street Journal article that claims that nearly 50 percent of the more than 400,000 ATMs in the United States are inaccessible to the visually impaired, despite the fact that new standards regarding accessibility of ATMs for the visually impaired went into effect on March 15, 2011.  Under these new standards, all ATMs were required to be upgraded to meet the new requirements by March 15, 2012.  Among other items, the new ADA requirements mandate that ATMs be speech-enabled, such that all operating instructions, visible transaction prompts, input verification, and error messages are accessible by individuals with impaired vision.  In addition, the ADA ATM requirements call for specific input controls, mandate a particular layout for numeric keypads, and provide specific requirements for the display screen.

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About this Author

Ron Dewaard, Varnum, litigation attorney
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Ron is a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor who concentrates his practice in civil and white collar litigation, as well as internal investigations. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been recognized as one of Michigan's top lawyers by Best Lawyers®Super Lawyers®, Benchmark Litigation© and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in the Law. Ron is also chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Team.

Before joining the firm, Ron served as an Assistant United States...

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Brion Doyle, Litigation attorney, Varnum
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Brion is a member of the Litigation Practice Team. He is experienced in commercial and environmental litigation in state and federal court. Brion has represented clients in a wide range of commercial and tort cases including class action defense, products liability defense, personal injury defense, commercial contract disputes, covenants not to compete, embezzlement and bank fraud actions, minority shareholder disputes, and in collection and creditors’ rights litigation. He has handled all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including facilitative mediation, arbitration and case evaluation under the Michigan Court Rules.

Brion is also a member of Varnum’s E-Discovery Task Force, where he advises clients on matters relating to the preservation and production of electronically-stored information, as well as best practices for companies in retaining data. 

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