[nfbwatlk] FW: [Wcb-l] NuVision Press release

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Fri Oct 25 17:15:56 UTC 2013

-----Original Message-----
From: Wcb-l [mailto:wcb-l-bounces at wcbinfo.org] On Behalf Of Carl Jarvis
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 8:45 AM
To: wcb
Subject: [Wcb-l] NuVision Press release

True cause for celebration!


Donna Pomerantz, President
California Council of the Blind



Jury finds NuVision Credit Union denied disabled vet loan

because he did not have a driver's license.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., October 25, 2013- A Federal jury awarded Army Sgt.
Major Jesse Acosta $160,000 in a legal victory finding that Huntington
Beach-based NuVision Credit Union violated the Americans with Disabilities
Act ("ADA") and the Unruh Act by denying Jesse Acosta a loan because he
could not produce a valid driver's license. In 2006, Sgt. Major Acosta was
blinded and suffered severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while
serving in Iraq.

The jury found that NuVision discriminated against Sgt. Major Acosta when it
refused to fund a $20,000 loan that had been approved, but not funded when
NuVision found out he was blind at the signing of the loan documents.  Sgt.
Major Acosta received a phone call from the bank informing him, "you didn't
tell us you were blind, that's a problem."  "I told them it was wrong to
cancel my approved loan because I was blind, I felt humiliated and very
angry," stated Sgt. Major Acosta, who advocates on behalf of veterans and
wants his win to help others fight disability discrimination.

The jury found that the ADA prohibited NuVision from requiring a blind
person to produce a driver's license to qualify for a loan, without a
legitimate business interest. Instead of modifying the discriminatory
policy, NuVision's required Sgt. Major Acosta to look for a co-borrower with
a driver's license, and submit a new loan application.

"The $160,000 damages included exemplary damages because it was intentional
discrimination," explained civil rights attorney Patricia Barbosa.

Sgt. Major Acosta, sought legal help following his experience as he battled
depression, anger and severe episodes of PTSD that caused him great physical
and mental anguish, as he relived the helplessness he felt in dealing with
NuVision's denial of his loan.  "It was never about the money," said Sgt.
Major Acosta, "it was to make sure NuVision never did treated another
disabled person like they treated me."

Civil rights attorney Patricia Barbosa, the founder of Barbosa Group, who
has more than 20 years of experience enforcing civil rights.  "I'm very
happy that the jury vindicated Mr. Acosta, and will end NuVision's
discrimination," said attorney Barbosa.  "Their policy-that blind customers
must have valid driver's licenses-is reminiscent of past bank practices
requiring women have their husbands co-sign a loans, because women could not
be trusted with business decisions" she continued.  "The ADA became the law
of the land 23 years ago.  It is long-past time for NuVision and other
businesses to recognize that persons with disabilities are entitled to full
and equal access to all aspects of our society."


For more information, or to schedule an interview with Sgt. Major Acosta,
please call Patricia Barbosa at 949/370-9942 <tel:949%2F370-9942>  or email
PBarbosa at Barbosagrp.com

cid:image005.jpg at 01CE0F85.43B7D070

16531 Bolsa Chica, Ste 205

Huntington Beach, CA 92649

(714) 465-9486

(949) 370-9942 direct line

 <mailto:PBarbosa at Barbosagrp.com> PBarbosa at Barbosagrp.com


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