Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Friendly's Restaurants Settles Discrimination Suit With Institution Patrons
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 24, 2003

FRANKLIN, MASSACHUSETTS--The company that runs 96 Friendly's restaurants in this state agreed last week to settle a lawsuit that claimed it discriminated against people with developmental disabilities.

Under the agreement filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court, Friendly Ice Cream Corp. will establish new policies and train employees to make sure they do not discriminate against customers with disabilities in the future. They will also donate $5,000 to the recreational program of Wrentham Developmental Center, a state-run institution housing people with mental retardation.

The suit came after a March 2002 incident at a downtown Franklin Friendly's. Four WDC residents, on an outing with three staff members, were made to wait for 25 minutes to be seated, even though the dining area was nearly empty.

The office of State Attorney General Tom Reilly investigated, along with the Department of Mental Retardation, and found the discrimination claims to be valid.

"Citizens -- especially those with disabilities -- should not be denied equal access to public places," Reilly said.

Friendly's Restaurants continued to deny wrongdoing in the settlement, but a spokesperson said that the company was pleased that the matter had "been resolved amicably".


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.