Blind woman sues bank for lack of accommodations on ATMs

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 15, 2012, 10:50am


SHERMAN - A blind woman has filed a class action against bank for failing to make its banking facilities, including its ATMs, accessible to the visually impaired.

Elena Hunter, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit against Bank of the Ozarks Inc. on June 13 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Bank of the Ozarks is accused of failing to design, construction, own or operate banking facilities that are fully accessible and independently usable by blind people.

Specifically, Hunter argues that the defendant's ATMS are not accessible. According to the lawsuit, she visited defendant's ATM located at West Park Boulevard in Plano on March 15 and, at the time of the visit, the voice-guidance feature on the machine was not operational.

The defendant is accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Texas Human Resource Code and the Texas Architectural Barrier Act.

Hunter is asking the court to issue an injunction requiring the Bank to update or replace its ATMs so that they are fully accessible to blind people. She is also asking the court for an award of statutory damages, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Hunter is represented by R. Bruce Carlson of Carlson Lynch Ltd. in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Emil Lippe Jr. of Lippe & Associates in Dallas.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00349

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