July 25, 2005.
The New York Post.
A blind Bronx woman has sued Emigrant Savings Bank for $1.75 million, saying the bank refused to let her open an account because she can't see.
Jaydene Williams, a 20-year-old gospel singer, says she went to the bank branch at 370 E. 149th St. on March 11 to open her first checking account.
Instead, Williams was questioned by a teller about whether she could handle a checking account and whether she could use a debit card at ATMs.
The teller warned her "she had to be careful with a debit account and asked how she would be able to use the system when she had to put the numbers in," Williams says in her complaint filed in Bronx Supreme Court.
"It was just like a shock to me that someone would tell me that I can't open an account because they think I can't press buttons, said Williams, who was born with glaucoma. "I mean that's ridiculous."
The teller called in a supervisor, who told Williams "she would be a liability because of the way information is entered into the system," the suit says.
Ultimately, the bank allowed Williams to open a savings account - saying they'd get back to her about the checking account, but never did.
"Even if they didn't think I could do it, they could've at least given me a chance," Williams said.
A woman who answered the phone at the bank branch said the supervisor no longer worked there. She referred questions to Emigrant's Manhattan office, where a manager did not return phone calls.
End of article.
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