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Bloomington Bar Facing Lawsuit Over ATM Fee Notice

Last updated on Monday, July 15, 2013

(BLOOMINGTON) - A popular Bloomington bar is mired in a legal battle that could cost it thousands of dollars for not posting a fees notice on its ATM.

A federal judge has scheduled an October trial on a class-action lawsuit against Nick's English Hut that seeks damages for patrons who used the ATM before a sticker was affixed to give notice of a $1.50 transaction fee, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported .

The ATM didn't have the sticker when Indiana University medical student Jon Pike used it in 2010, a federal magistrate judge ruled earlier this year. That narrows the trial over the lawsuit -- filed in 2011 -- to questions such as how long the machine had no fees notice and the bar's legal liability.

Numerous businesses across the country have faced similar lawsuits over the ATM notice requirement. Congress eliminated the notice requirement last year, concluding it was unnecessary, because modern ATMs allow users to opt out of transactions if they deem fees are too high.

Nick's co-owner Susan Bright said in a deposition that she knew federal law required ATM fee notice "in some way," but believed disclosure of fees during the transaction was sufficient.

The same Dallas attorney representing Pike in the lawsuit against Nick's sued the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team and its ATM vendor in 2011, citing the absence of stickers disclosing a $2 fee. That lawsuit was settled last year, with the defendants starting a $35,000 settlement fund that provided users of the ATMs $14.50 for each transaction. Attorneys for the class received $50,000, which covered fees as well as expenses.

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