Monday, December 21, 2015

Hattiesburg restaurant fined over service dog

The Justice Department issued the following press release:


Hattiesburg Restaurant Agrees to Pay Damages for Treatment of Patron with Service Dog

Jackson, Miss - “On September 11, 2013, Vickie Killingsworth, accompanied by her service dog, entered the Grand China Buffet Restaurant, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. “Killingsworth, along with her friends, asked to be seated but were then told by the hostess `No dogs are allowed.’ Further, the hostess informed Killingsworth that they must leave the premises. Killingsworth, who uses a wheelchair, informed the hostess she was mobility impaired, that the dog was her service animal, and that she had a right to be seated and treated as all other patrons.

Eventually, restaurant staff allowed Killingsworth and her party to receive service. However, they were seated in a corner well away from all other customers, near a service area. As Killingsworth approached the front of the restaurant to leave, a staff person met her at the front door to tell her, `Next time no dog.’ As Killingsworth tried to explain the law regarding service animals, he waved his hand toward the door, raised his voice in an angry tone and said, `Go!’ ”

Grand China Buffet Restaurant and its owner, Zhen Fei Chen, have entered into a Settlement Agreement with the United States following an investigation conducted by the U. S. Attorney’s Office. The investigation concluded that Killingsworth had been denied her civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act as the result of the treatment she received while at the restaurant. Even though Grand China Buffet eventually allowed Killingsworth and her service dog to enter the restaurant, she was restricted to a certain area and told to never return with her service animal.

As a matter of protected civil rights the Americans with Disabilities Act clearly provides that a Title III public accommodation, such as a restaurant, may not discriminate against persons with disabilities who rely on service animals to assist them. It is the restaurant owner’s responsibility to properly train staff in this regard to prevent such discrimination, embarrassment and humiliation.

Killingsworth was paid $2,500.00 in compensatory damages by the restaurant, and a civil penalty of $500.00 was paid to the United States in order to partially vindicate the public interest.

The restaurant's owners and employees (now and in the future) must undergo specific training regarding customers with service animals; signs must be posted on the exterior entrances of the business alerting patrons that persons accompanied by their service animals will be welcomed; and the settlement also prohibits future discrimination at the restaurant.

In conclusion, U. S. Attorney Davis stated: “We appreciate the cooperation of Grand China Buffet and Zhen Fei Chen in bringing about an amicable resolution of this matter. Service animals play a vital role in providing independence for persons with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act will be fully enforced in this District. If anyone has experienced similar conduct or other discriminatory actions based on their disability— including barriers to access to public accommodations, effective communication issues for those with sensory impairments, or other discrimination— please contact Assistant United States Attorney Pshon Barrett at (601) 965-4480 or email at pshon.barrett@usdoj.gov.”

Kingfish note: Confucious say Ms. Killingsworth should be glad ancient Chinese chef did not make her service dog the dinner. 

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most people do not know that it is possible for a person to get service dog license for a dog even though you are not disabled and the dog is not trained. Just pay your money and Spot can go with you anywhere.

Anonymous said...

don't bring that delicious-looking dog into our restaurant again...or else...

Anonymous said...

I agree @ 2:44. I see so many of these "service dogs" that are for companionship & not true service to help someone with a disability. It's out of control. I, for one, am NOT interested in eating with a dog nearby. I have allergies & animals set off my allergies-big time. So, where are my rights to not have to eat, shop, etc with a dog around me? Also, getting a service dog designation is now like getting a handicapped parking permit-anyone can get one. Since when did being fat give you just cause for being handicapped? Fat is not a handicap. I see so many people who are fat & just want the permit so they don't have to walk. Just saying what's not PC or popular, but it's the truth!!!

Anonymous said...

I confess to being unclear what services a dog provides to a person in a wheelchair. But I am ignorant on the subject.

Johnny Weir said...

The U.S. Government is a big bully.

Anonymous said...

no problem. cats are the preferred cuisine at those buffets...

Anonymous said...

3:32- Your stupidity is flying high today.

While many have abused both handicapped parking and service animal designation, there are people that need and depend on these animals to assist them with every day activities. Both sight impaired people and people with spinal cord injuries depend on certified service dogs. I guess you also think buildings should not be accessible either? You are a typical, dumb redneck.

F you and you allergies.

Anonymous said...

5;50 must be fat

Ignorance Is Rampant said...

Bull Shit 2:44. No license is necessary for a patron to be accommodated with a service dog under the ADA. Where in the hell did you get that notion?

You would think that after the passage of the ADA some twenty-two or more years ago all facilities are aware of the requirement.

Same As Above said...

Sorry; But you dumb shits are barking up the wrong sidewalk.

Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.

http://www.ada.gov/archive/qasrvc.htm

Anonymous said...

Ahh so! We not see you cat. You stop asking us about cat. Try our chicken, it is purrrfect!

Anonymous said...

@3:21. While being fat is a choice for most, it is definitely not a choice for all. Certain conditions, including results of birthing procedures as recent as 30 years ago, make people overweight, no matter how much they diet and exercise. I assure you, there are many fat people you see on a daily basis that do exercise, and do not eat unhealthy. They unfortunately have no choice. And they are generally the most kind, loving people you'll ever meet.

Of course, there for every fat person with no choice, there's ten that like to eat McDonald's for every meal and reached that point at their own will.

Anonymous said...

A special collar or harness. Bet they only sell those at the special service animal store. Sure bet a person who wanted to bring their dog inside would not lie about it being a service dog.

Anonymous said...

I have witnessed some of these people with their service dogs. These are the same people who grab the scooter carts at Walmart because they are to damn fat to walk.

If you are blind and have a dog, GREAT, if you are fat and pitiful and have a dog, boohoo.

Anonymous said...

Dogs are also used to detect when a diabetic is about to have a seizure. Some service dogs are for autistic children who quickly become upset and harm themselves. The list goes on and on.

Regardless, my dogs are far better beings than any of you assholes. Go check your Ashley Madison account and continue to ruin your families lives to fulfill your selfish perversions.

wagless said...

The hostess actually did the dog a huge favor by not letting him in. Chances are his tail would have ended up in some dish on the buffet.

Anonymous said...

Fat is cause by excess intake of calories.End of story.

Escalades In Blue Spaces said...

A shop-keeper can no more ask a customer if he is disabled than an person in HR can ask that question of a job applicant.

PS: This is a thread about service dogs, not fat people who thirty years ago were birthed sideways! Good try.

Anonymous said...

The ignorance of some of those posting is incredible. So you've all seen this person's medical records, have you?
You ,first of all, don't apparently know, for example, that service dogs can alert to oncoming seizures for those with traumatic brain injury and PTSD, they can alert for diabetics and they can help those in a wheel chair pick up what is dropped, open doors ( including in a handicapped bathroom and help with clothing).
You also apparently don't know that fat can be caused by medical conditions like adrenal gland problems and necessary medicines that treat disabilities. Some illnesses compromise one's metabolic rate. You can't burn calories but you also can't live without adequate nutrition !
I'd rather see a well cared for dog that has had it's shots and is on a flea and tick treatment in a restaurant than those of you who are coughing, sneezing and blowing your noses! I've never be exposed to an illness from a dog, only people!
And, the person with allergies should be able to control their allergies as I do mine ( and some of mine involve the risk of anaphylactic shock not just the inconvenience of a runny nose, itchy eyes and hives!) I'm a grown up who can follow my allergist's instructions and don't think the world revolves around me!
And, I'm wondering if it was one of you who was rude to my good friend who just died. She looked so beautiful until the very end. She tried to enjoy her life as long as she could and you had no idea why she needed the handicap parking space.
Way to go know nothings who think they know everything !

Pity Party RSVP Declined said...

6:24; Nobody is coming to your dynamic pity-party. Don't attempt to make this thread all about you. You know why? Because it's NOT, that's why. Nobody cares what you would rather see in a restaurant and nobody cares to see your take on metabolism and fat people.

Go out on the porch and have another milk shake and wipe the cat tracks off the freezer.

Anonymous said...

people prone to diabetic seizures really have no business in a restaurant. the next step will be the government requiring cafes to have an ICU wing to serve people in comas that wish to eat out.

Anonymous said...

Sigh...if only we actually had property rights in this country, this wouldn't be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post a link about how easy (or not) it is to get a service dog? I can't find anything and I'm surprised to hear people say it is so easy.

Anonymous said...

By property rights are you saying the ability to serve or not serve anyone you choose? If so, the 60's are calling and they want you back.

Ophelia said...

I have no dog in this hunt (ho ho ho) being neither a dog-owner nor handicapped (yet), but I'd certainly rather dine in the vicinity of a properly-trained canine (service or not) than many, MANY children who are allowed to rampage about, unchecked and un-smacked by their lazy parents. I always enjoy the country pubs in rural England, where dogs are a common sight, but little kids are frowned upon.

The irrelevant-to-this-thread but comical topic of whether the Chinese really eat dogs (and cats) led me down a fairly unappetizing rabbit (mmmm!) trail of Googling, and, yes, they do indeed. I always assumed that was a sinophobic joke in poor taste (my, the woods are full of wordplays, sorry) but...they DO chomp on Fido and Frisky! Just as the French eat horsemeat, and the Italians love a dish with black squid ink that turns teeth deep purple. I suppose it's all what you're used to, but...ugh.

noel said...

can't ask for proof the dog is a legit service animal, could be fined by the health dept. if it's not.

Anonymous said...

Ophelia I will have to agree with you. A dog would be a welcome relief after spending lunch time around a bunch of kids. Especially those kids that have kids for parents.

As far as eating habits of different people, do you believe there are people who actually eat chickens?

Bull Shit Patrol said...

What we really need to stop is all the Escalades parked at Wal Mart in the 'blue zones' with placards hanging from the mirrors. Minority medical practitioners in Canton and Jacktown are handing out those permit orders left and right in order to keep the business of those who request, but don't qualify for them.

Anonymous said...

@7:10
You may be right and you may be wrong. Either way I wouldn't stand too close to you. Lightning happens in broad daylight sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Pity Party Declined...hate to break the news to you but I am not handicapped. I'm in excellent health, thank the Lord.
I am not one ounce overweight either.
Unlike you, I happened to have a lot of friends and not all of them have been so fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Walked out of my office today just to see a guy with a handicapped blue card hanging from his rearview mirror. Is he handicapped? HELL NO! I know him & have worked with him for years. His disability? He's fat & doesn't want to park in his assigned spot, so he gets a permit to park closer to the door (God forbid he has to walk like everyone else). After all, he's handi-capable! He just doesn't want to walk the extra 200 steps where the non-handi-capable people have to park. He takes a spot from someone who may really need it. The same applies to service dogs-over used & not needed by some. I agree with the above person who said they didn't want to eat beside a dog. I personally don't like the idea of eating with a pet that's licking his balls while I eat. Call me weird.

Poochie said...

Wrong Noel - The Health Department can NOT successfully fine a restaurant for allowing an animal who appeared to be or was said to be a service dog. No proof is required, nor can it be required.

If I run a restaurant and believe the animal to be a service dog, and by some twist of impossible fate, the Health Department later says it is not a service dog and fines me, fine, we take it to court.

If I run a restaurant and believe a dog to NOT be a service animal and refuse service, I run the risk of an ADA based discrimination lawsuit I don't think I'd risk that, notwithstanding the patron who farts, picks his nose and fidgets with his balls but is insulted when a dog licks HIS.

Anonymous said...

Sure makes me hungry. A dog laying at the next table licking his balls.

Fido It's Supper Time... said...

People who do not like dogs can NOT be trusted. Period. End of story.

Anonymous said...

People who act like dogs are not that trust worthy either.

Anonymous said...

Why does a service dog lick his balls ?
. . . because he can.

Anonymous said...

Where does a service dog lick his balls?
Anywhere he and his owner choose.

Anonymous said...

Dog licking balls...lmafao. Funny until you have it beside you. Yuck. Dogs belong outside. Period. End of story.

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