Service Animal User sues for Discrimination
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In this announcement below, a hospital is being sued for harassing a disabled person and her famous guide dog, Faith. Faith became famous for phoning 911 during an emergency.
Please note the alleged “excuses” made by the Defendants to justify their discrimination:
Note that if it were a Guide Horse, many of these “excuses” would be invalid:
Hopefully, lawsuits like these will bring the rights of the disabled into public focus and evil people will think twice before they fabricate excuses with the goal of violating the Civil Rights of disabled people.
Dear All Guide, Hearing and Service Dog Users,
This announcement is being made on Tuesday, January 25, 2005, at 1:05 PM
Pacific Standard Time.
The purpose of this announcement is to inform the Disabled and Service
Animal & Assistance Dog Community about the settlement agreement of
civil case #CIV 03-2317-PHX-DGC which occurred in Phoenix, Arizona.
Leana Beasley & Michael Beasley VS John C. Lincoln health care network,
Dr. Michael V. Koss, MD and Associated Gastroenterologists, Ltd., an
Arizona corporation. Complaint and Case filed in US District Court.
Mother, Leana Beasley, is a person with disabilities and uses a fully trained
Service Dog. Leana's first service dog, Bronson, was trained by the Prison
Pet Partnership Program, located in Gig Harbor, WA. After being Leana's
partner for 10 years, Bronson finished his working career in December
2005. Bronson rapped up his career by winning the Delta Society 2004
Beyond Limits Award. Bronson's last duty was to help train "Faith" vom
Moritz-Burgberg as his successor. Faith is Owner-Trained with the help of
trainers from the Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound. Faith gained national
and world publicity when she called 9-1-1 on the telephone to signal help for
Leana and then unlocked the door to let in emergency personnel. Faith was
give a Recognition Award by Benton-Franklin County Emergency Services.
Faith was also nominated and won the American Red Cross Real Heroes
Award. Faith will be honored during a public ceremony on March 3, 2005.
After Leana had taken her, high school age son Michael Beasley, to the
emergency room for severe intestinal bleeding on two different occasions and
one hospitalization, Michael was referred to a doctor at a GI clinic on the same
hospital property. The appointment was scheduled, medical records were sent
and the appointment was confirmed.
On February 18, 2003, Leana picked up Michael from the high school
and drove him to his scheduled appointment. Michael was justifiably fearful
due to the family's medical history and he requested that his mother accompany
him to his appointment. Michael needed his mother to fill out the 5 pages of
medical history information at the clinic. Michael also needed his mother to make
insuranceand payment arrangements for this appointment, as Michael was a
full-time high school student and was unemployed, with no income of his own.
He wanted and needed an advocate and the emotional support of his mother.
Once Michael and Leana with her Service Dogs arrived at the GI Clinic,
the papers were filed out and the billing was taken care of. Michael and
Leana sat in the empty waiting room and waited for Michael to be taken
to see the doctor. Freshly bathed and dressed in their working harnesses and
clearly identified as Service Dogs, Bronson and Faith were tucked into a
small corner in a down-stay and laid there quietly. After a few minutes, a nurse
came to the waiting room and ordered Leana to remove the dogs from the clinic.
Leana made every attempt to politely educate this nurse and show her the
Arizona State and ADA Laws in writing. The nurse left and then returned,
only to order Leana to remove the dogs from the entire building. Michael's
appointment became contingent on Leana removing the Service Dogs.
Leana offered to call the Phoenix Police so that they could explain the
laws to the nurse and doctor. The nurse said to do what Leana had to
do, so Leana called the police. Two police officers arrived and they made
every attempt to educate the staff about the laws, but to no avail. At this
point, the doctor informed the police that he didn't care what the dogs were
trained to do and that no dog was coming into the clinic. Then the doctor
refused to examine or give any medical care to Michael, because Leana
had called the police.
Leana and Michael contacted their attorney. A formal letter was sent for
settlement, without legal court action. In a written response from the
defendants attorney, the attorney fully described the exact same story as
Leana and Michael. They also agreed that Leana identified herself as a disabled
person and that the dogs were Service Dogs for her disabilities. Yet, they
stood firm that the doctor did nothing wrong. Leana and Michael, through
their attorney, filed civil legal action against the defendants for Discrimination
based on disability; Retaliation based on a person's affiliation with a disabled
person; and Denial of access and services. These charges
were filed under both Arizona State and Federal ADA Laws.
During this two year battle, the defendants and their attorneys stated several
reasons in an attempt to justify the actions of the clinic staff. "Someone in the
clinic was allergic to dogs." Yet, this person was never identified. "Someone
in the clinic was afraid of dogs." Yet, this person was never identified and
there was no other patient in the waiting room area. "The dogs are Rottweilers."
And yet, not one person, not even the attorneys, ever stated that the Service
Dogs posed a direct threat or that the Service Dogs did anything wrong. The
final excuse was "They didn't call ahead to say that they were bringing the
Service Dogs with them."
The defendants have now offered a settlement in this case in the amount of
$25,001. With no mention of education for the staff and no mention of a future
Service Dog Policy. They want Dismissal With Prejudice. And they have put
a "Confidentiality" clause into the terms of the unsigned settlement agreement /
contract. Which means that *after* the date of this agreement being signed there
cannot be any further publicly disclosed information given by us, about this
case or it's settlement.
As of this moment, time and date, this settlement agreement has NOT been
agreed to or signed by Leana Beasley or Michael Beasley. As such, we are
making this discrimination case publicly known to the Disabled and Service Animal
Communities at this time.
Public Announcement dated January 25, 2005, at 1:05 PM Pacific Standard Time.
Please feel free to cross post this announcement to any and all who would
be interested, to include any news media.
Leana L. Beasley and Michael S. Beasley
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