Diabetic Man Sues County & Restaurant for Service Dog Discrimination

CBS Atlanta 46

 

A Cobb County, GA man is suing the county and Popeye’s Restaurant for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Four months ago, Taylor Gipson’s service dog, Bear, alerted him that he needed to eat something to correct his blood sugar. With Bear in his service dog vest Taylor walked into a Popeye’s restaurant and ordered food. That’s when the manager of the restaurant stepped in. According to Gipson, “It wasn’t five minutes after I ordered my food that this manager was right up in my face telling me to get out of her restaurant.” Not only did the manager order him out of her restaurant, she also called the police.

Gipson immediately presented the manager with his ADA card explaining that Bear was a legitimate service dog and under Federal law was allowed in the restaurant. The manager still wouldn’t allow Gipson and his dog to remain in the restaurant, and the police officer told him to leave too.

Lee Parks, attorney for Gipson said, “This young man had the American Disabilities information in his hand willing to show it to the officer who said ‘I don’t need to be told what the law is, I know it.’ He didn’t.”

According to Parks, this incident has worsened as Popeye’s now claims that Gipson was told to leave over an altercation with another customer, not the service dog. “They claimed there was video, there is no video. They claimed there was a witness, there is no witness. It was a bald-faced, malicious lie,” Parks said.

Gipson is suing both the owner of the Popeye’s restaurant and Cobb County. Neither party is talking to the media.

For now, Gipson just wants to make sure others don’t have the same experience. “I want to see other people with service dogs and disabilities treated fairly in the future.”

22 thoughts on “Diabetic Man Sues County & Restaurant for Service Dog Discrimination”

  1. That’s awful! That manager and police officer need to brush up on the Americans with Disabilities Act!! I hope he sues them for everything they have, just to send a message!

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  2. you know, in france (my sister and mother live there now) dogs are allowed pretty much anywhere open surgery is not being performed and yet – nobody has died of some dread animal-communicated disease. maybe it’s time north america joined the 21st century and allowed ALL well-mannered dogs in places of business. my town is great – as long as food isn’t being served, nobody has a problem if i bring my dog in. they usually have dog treats behind the counter at the book shop, the beer store, and the government office. there is one restaurant that i refuse to patronize bec of their sign banning ALL dogs from the property (“no exceptions”) and i’m dealing with them hopefully without involving the Accessibility Act bec that’s a nasty fine (mostly i’m outraged at the hypocrisy: they live right over the restaurant with their own dog!).

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    • there are a number of organizations that train them. the major problem is most insurance companies do not pay for them and they are not cheap.
      1. Start with your dr
      2. search out a good facility that trains, even some prisons are training service animals now
      3. check the cost and requirements.
      4. contact various organizations that help fund disabled people in this venture, do fund raisers, etc to raise monies needed for any cost of the animal.

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  3. I can see no reason why a diabetic person “needs” their dog with for the time they are in a restaurant. There a many alternatives to monitoring blood sugar. This person doesn’t need a dog to function in the restaurant.

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    • A person doesn’t always feel their blood sugar going low. The dog can sense it. So he does need the dog and they are excellent at what they do. Do you think a seizure dog or one for a blind person isn’t needed either? That is just crazy. And the laws state that these dogs are allowed anywhere, even in hospitals.

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      • Dept of Justice has also specified that service dogs for PTSD with anxiety fall in the same category as other service animals.

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    • Try actually READING the article next time. His dog had alerted him and that’s WHY he went into the restaurant. To get some food.

      You also might want to brush up on the ADA. You aren’t the boss of them.

      Frankly, I’d rather eat in a restaurant filled with dogs than most humans, especially judgmental freaks like yourself.

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      • Cheryl
        From what you said I am glad I didn’t get to read the statement since it has been blocked. I probably would have blown. To many people are still ignorant to ADA in this country and what is worse is that they prefer to remain ignorant. Bless you

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    • It’s a good thing you don’t make the decisions about this sort of thing then isn’t it. You probably wouldn’t see the necessity of a guide dog for a blind man inside of the restaurant either would you. After all, it’s an enclosed space with out all that many obstacles, what are a few bumps and bruises? Nasty assed dogs can stay outside right. AND, why should a Vet with PTSD, need his Service Dog, hell what are his chances of getting more depressed while he’s eating? Unless it’s a really bad restaurant? You know, I’m sick of this little game, because you are an ignorant ass. I am disabled and I use a power chair for mobility. I have been inside of stores where it is impossible to move around because of merchandise blocking the aisle and they don’t have handicap accessible restrooms. Their smartass reply to me was that it was cheaper to pay the fines than it was to refit their facilities, and this was a national chain. Attitudes like this, yours and others encountered by those with those with Service Dogs are outright disgusting. We have as much right to go everywhere you go and with whatever assistance we require to reach our destination. Federal Law says so and if you or anyone else doesn’t like it, you are more than welcome to stay at home, or order in, whatever you chose.

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  4. I’m not in a wheelchair, I’m not blind, I’m not deaf, I don’t have a life threatening medical condition that can be alerted by a dog……….so my dog stays home where she belongs when I go out to eat or shopping. Service dogs are trained to be in nearly every situation, pet dogs are not. I train service dogs and know that they are very well kept-groomed and health checked often.

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