Tag Archives: americans with disabilities

Title III doesn’t [just] need damages; it needs a public shaming remedy. Update: I appear to have been punk’d.

Update:  While it’s true that Title III most definitely needs a public shaming remedy, this case may not be the vehicle for it.  Gawker reports that the whole thing was a hoax.  Not wishing to be equally credulous of the debunking as I was of the original bunking, I’ll leave the various links and let you decide.

Original post:

Family says girl scarred by pit bull attack asked to leave KFC restaurant.

Image:  Kentucky Fried Chicken logo.  Old white man with white goatee and red apron.

 

A 3-year-old girl who was attacked by pit bulls in April was asked to leave a restaurant in Mississippi because her scars scared customers, the girl’s grandmother told a television station there.

“They said, ‘We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers.’ [The girl] understood exactly what they said.”

As you can imagine, this is pretty much an automatic violation of Title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations, including restaurants.  But Title III has no damages remedy; the only thing the girl and her family would be entitled to would be an order permitting them to eat at the restaurant in question.

Second prize:  two meals!

Since there’s no damages remedy and the injunctive remedy is somewhere between less-than-useless and adding-insult-to-injury, I propose — in addition to the very-expensive-scotch remedy for hotel reservation violations — that Title III have a public shaming remedy.

Here, the remedy would include a requirement that (1) the waitstaffperson who made the request wear a sign saying “I acted like an asshole.  I’ve learned my lesson.  I will not act like an asshole — at least to people with disabilities in restaurants — in the future;” (2) the owner of the restaurant wear a sign saying, “I promise not to hire assholes and I promise to train my staff not to act like assholes,” and (3) the waitstaffperson and restaurant owner buy the entire family a meal at the best restaurant in town as well as a year’s supply of Popeye’s fried chicken, which everyone knows is the far superior take-out fried chicken.

Christmas Display

I saw the most wonderful display in front of a church as I drove down University Blvd today.  Not a creche, no lights, no crosses, no Santas or reindeer.  Just:

{Image:  photo of a church buliding with -- in front of the church -- a long concrete and brick ramp under construction.}

a ramp under construction.   St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church is building a beautiful ramp in front of their church building.  No back entrances here; nothing ad hoc or flimsy.  They’ve given over the front lawn of the church to a cut-back concrete ramp, lined with brick to match the building.

{Image:  more distant photo in which the entire church building is visible within the frame, as is the ramp extending the width of the building.  Construction equipment is visible in the lower right of the photo.}

I was very moved by the message of inclusion that this collection of concrete and bricks and construction equipment sent especially at the time of year when there is generally so much hand-wringing about Christmas displays.*  Sometimes the simplest things speak the most eloquently.   It’s is even more moving, I think, because the ADA does not require churches to be accessible, so this likely reflects a simple decision that everyone should feel and be invited to worship.

Because ramps are fun to do in panorama:

{Image: a panoramic view in which the entire ramp is visible close up, with construction equipment to the right.}

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* You know, the creche; the creche + menorah to show that we’re ecumenical; the creche + menorah-even-when-Chanukah-was-over-two-weeks-ago to show that we’re ecumenical but sort of clueless; the creche + menorah + Santa Claus to show that we’re not really religious, just seasonal; and of course the creche + menorah + flying spaghetti monster just because we can.