May 21, 2008

Legal News - NAMA Responds To Currency Filing

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) said it will immediately look into the next steps that should be taken to protect the industry after a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish the bills' value.

The ruling upholds a decision by a lower court made in 2006, and would force the Treasury Department to redesign money.

"This decision would impose a tremendous financial hardship on our members who would be forced to spend hundreds of dollars on each machine so the new currency could be accepted," said NAMA CEO Richard Geerdes. "In addition it is sure to translate into higher prices for everyone as the costs associated with re-fitting and even manufacturing completely new machines are eventually passed along to consumers who will be forced to spend more money for the same products."

NAMA initially responded to this issue when the first lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Treasury by the American Council of the Blind in Washington. The suit claimed U.S. currency should be redesigned to help blind and visually impaired people distinguish among denominations. NAMA filed a brief during the trial, noting that a decision to change U.S. currency would cost the vending industry substantial amounts. In addition, on appeal from a decision against the U.S. Treasury and the interests of NAMA members, NAMA filed an Amicus Brief, again reciting the harm it could pose to our industry. NAMA was the only industry group that filed a brief opposing the change, although a host of other industries would be affected including the amusement game trade. AMOA leaders discussed the matter during their Washington Conference last year, but AAMA and AMOA have taken no formal action on the matter.

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Posted by staff at May 21, 2008 12:00 PM