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Obligation to provide access to the disabled who use service animals and sufficiency of pleadings.

October 1, 2010
Abbott v. Tacconelli's Pizzeria, LLC, Docket No. 10-1901 (U.S.D.C. Aug. 24, 2010)

The plaintiff, who is hearing impaired, filed suit under the ADA and NJLAD alleging she was denied service at the defendant's restaurant due to the presence of her service dog. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the discrimination, she "sustained anger and emotional distress." In denying the defendant's motion to dismiss, Judge Simandle concluded that the Complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action because a restaurant is considered a place of "public accommodation" since the public is generally invited to it. Further, the court found that the allegation that the denial of service was due to the presence of a service dog was sufficient to state a claim for purposes of the pleadings and that no further details were required. In support of this conclusion, Judge Simandle noted that service dogs must be provided with access to all public facilities and that a private entity may not insist on proof of state credentialing before permitting entry of a service animal.

Case Law Alert - 4th Qtr 2010

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Lawrence B. Berg
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(856) 414-6031
lbberg@mdwcg.com

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