Man with service dog settles lawsuit against Minneapolis McDonald's


A man in a wheelchair who filed a lawsuit claiming he twice had trouble being served at a Minneapolis McDonald's because he was accompanied by his service dog reached a settlement with the restaurant's owner.

Robert Mingo, 53, who has used a wheelchair for the past decade because of a muscular dystrophy diagnosis, filed a federal lawsuit in April alleging the McDonald's on West Broadway violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Mingo (pictured above) and the owner of that McDonald's settled the lawsuit last week, but details regarding the settlement are confidential, the Star Tribune reports.

Andrew Tanick, the attorney for the McDonald's, told the newspaper the agreement does include some requirements to make sure similar incidents won't happen again.

Mingo told BringMeTheNews Monday he is happy with the end result and has no hard feelings towards franchise owner Tim Baylor. He said he "just wants people with disabilities to be treated fairly whether they have service animals or not."

His lawsuit claimed he was refused service in August of 2012 from an employee at the counter because he brought his service dog inside. It goes on to say the same employee again refused to serve him when he went through the drive-through in his wheelchair. Mingo was eventually served.

In the second instance nine months later, the lawsuit said a manager ordered him not to eat in the dining area with his dog. When Mingo objected that the law allowed him access, the manager declared, “I am the law,” which prompted laughter from customers.

The ADA says governments, businesses and nonprofits that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities. The law limits inquiries about a service dog’s validity. Asking a disabled person to produce the relevant documents is illegal.

This isn't the first time a McDonald's has faced a lawsuit for violating the ADA. Past lawsuits included instances involving employment of people with disabilities as well as not accommodating customers with disabilities, including other cases in which customers were denied access because of a service animal.

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