Braille Monitor August/September 2007
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From the Editor: In accordance
with court instruction, we publish the following notice of interest to all legally
blind users or would-be users of automatic teller machines (ATMs):
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 03-11206-MEL
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, et al.,
E*TRADE ACCESS, INC., et al.,
NOTICE OF CLASS DETERMINATIONS, PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AND
HEARING TO BE HELD ON DECEMBER 4, 2007
TO ALL BLIND PATRONS OF AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINES (“ATMs”) OWNED OR OPERATED BY EITHER CARDTRONICS, INC., OR CARDTRONICS, LP (collectively, “Cardtronics”)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the National Federation of the Blind (“NFB”), and several individual blind persons have brought claims against Cardtronics in the class action lawsuit Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v. E*TRADE Access, Inc., et al., No. CV-03-11206 (the “Lawsuit”), pending before the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (the “Court”). The lawsuit concerns, among other things, the accessibility of ATMs owned or operated by Cardtronics to blind patrons under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Massachusetts state laws.
The Court has certified a nationwide class in this lawsuit that consists of patrons of ATMs owned or operated by Cardtronics who have total blindness or central vision acuity not to exceed 20/200 in the better eye, with corrective lenses, as measured by the Snellen test, or visual acuity greater than 20/200, but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of not greater than 20 degrees (the “Class Members”).
CARDTRONICS HAS AGREED TO A SETTLEMENT THAT WILL PROVIDE BENEFITS TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SETTLING CLASS DESCRIBED BELOW, IF THE SETTLEMENT IS APPROVED BY THE COURT. THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WILL ALSO RELEASE ALL CLASS MEMBERS’ CLAIMS FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF RELATING TO THE ACCESSIBILITY OF CARDTRONICS’ ATMS TO BLIND PEOPLE AS WELL AS ALL CLASS MEMBER CLAIMS AGAINST E*TRADE BANK FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS.
Cardtronics, without admitting any liability, has agreed to settle the lawsuit by, among other actions, ensuring that most ATMs owned by Cardtronics will offer voice guidance through a standard headphone jack located on the face of the ATM by no later than December 31, 2007. Cardtronics will also sell or otherwise make available to merchants or other third parties who own ATMs currently serviced by Cardtronics ATMs that are voice-guided and provide audible instructions to ATM patrons through a standard headphone jack located on the face of the ATM. Finally, Cardtronics has committed that, by July 1, 2010, at least 90 percent (90%) of all transactions at covered ATMs shall occur on ATMs that are voice-guided or otherwise accessible to blind people. A full copy of the settlement agreement is available on Cardtronics’ Web site: <www.cardtronics.net/news/nfb_settlement.asp>. The locations of the existing ATMs covered by the settlement agreement can be obtained through Cardtronics’ ATM locator feature, available at <www.cardtronics.net/about/atmlocator.asp>.
Cardtronics has agreed to make a contribution of $100,000 to the Attorney General’s local consumer aid fund of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, subject to Court approval, to pay the amount of $900,000 in attorneys’ fees to the attorneys representing the class. These amounts will not detract from Cardtronics’s duties to provide accessible ATMs to the class. The Court will conduct a hearing on the motion of class counsel for their attorneys’ fees at the date and time set forth in the following paragraph.
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and an Order of the Court dated July 26, 2007, and as thereafter amended, that a Final Approval Hearing will be held on December 4, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., before that Court in the United States Courthouse, One Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. The purpose of this Final Approval Hearing is to determine whether the proposed settlement of the lawsuit should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, whether the application for awards of attorneys’ fees, contribution to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s local consumer aid fund, and reimbursement for expenses should be approved, and whether this action should be dismissed on the merits and with prejudice.
Class Members who wish to object to the proposed settlement must provide notice of and explanation of their objection in writing to the Court at the address above, with copies to Counsel at the addresses provided below, no later than October 31, 2007. Only Class Members filing timely objections may request to present their objections at the Final Approval Hearing.
Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General Attn: Patricia Correa
Assistant Attorney General
100 Cambridge Street, 11th floor
Boston, MA 02108
Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP Attn: Daniel F. Goldstein, Esq. 120 E. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Douglas P. Lobel
Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
One Freedom Square
Reston Town Center
11951 Freedom Drive
Reston, VA 20190
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT <www.cardtronics.net/news/nfb_settlement.asp>. OR CONTACT COUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFFS:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, Disability Rights Project, (617) 727-2200, www.ago.state.ma.us/sp.cfm?pageid=1195
Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, (410) 962-1030, <www.browngold.com>
EXCEPT AS INSTRUCTED IN THE NOTICE, PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT.
Dated: July 26, 2007 By Order of the
United States District Court
For the District of Massachusetts
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