Plaintiffs' attorneys in Michigan are having potential plaintiffs troll ATMs searching for an absence of required notices. Generally, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act requires posting of fee notices on both the ATM itself and on the ATM screen or paper notice printed before the transaction is completed. Plaintiffs who make withdrawals from ATMs lacking all of the required notices then become the principal plaintiffs in a class action suit on behalf of all who have used the ATMs. These suits are attractive to Plaintiffs' attorneys because the lack of the required notices allows them to tag the banks for statutory damages and actual attorney fees.
Half a dozen of these cases were filed last week and we expect more may be in the works. These cases are very expensive and time consuming to defend so we urge all ATM operators to immediately check their machines for the required notices and avoid this gotcha.