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Sterling Employment Law

Michigan family: Restaurant violated ADA by refusing to serve us

A Michigan woman and her daughters were refused service at a Westland Golden Corral because the manager was frightened by their genetic skin condition, according to a lawsuit filed by federal prosecutors.

If the facts played out as the mother and daughters allege, than the restaurant manager who refused service violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

We regularly work with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Although it is most often in an employment law context, we thought this was an interest application of the statute and thus was worthy of a post.

The woman and her daughters have epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that creates unsightly (but not contagious) blisters on the skin. They were waiting for the wife's husband at the Golden Corral on May 23, 2011 when the restaurant's manager came over and told them they would have to leave because they were making other customers uncomfortable.

The woman tried to explain her condition, but it was to no avail. Eventually, the restaurant owner called the police on the woman and her children.

The lawsuit is seeking "an end to such activities" and damages for the family. Gold Corral has not commented publicly on the lawsuit.

The Americans With Disabilities Act is one of the most important piece of federal legislation when it comes to protecting the rights of people who are sick, hurt or otherwise in need of special consideration. If what the family in this case is alleging is true, we wish them all the best in their case.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Westland restaurant faces suit over alleged mistreatment of customers with skin condition," Robin Erb, Feb. 20, 2013

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