Seattle Woman Wins Service Dog Discrimination Case
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 3, 2005
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--A Seattle woman has won a $21,222 judgment against the former owner of a Ballard convenience store who refused to serve her because of her service dog.
Joyce Fischer-Jones, 47, stopped at the Wicker Basket in July 2003 to buy a soda pop. She claims that the then-storeowner, Ho Park, told her to leave with her chow/Labrador mix service dog Sox.
"He said 'no dog' and he shoved me," she told KOMO-TV.
She filed a complaint with Seattle's Office for Civil Rights, which filed a discrimination lawsuit against Park. Fisher-Jones will receive about $5,000 after attorneys fees are paid.
Fischer-Jones experiences panic attacks and anxiety about being in public or open spaces. In the five years since she got Sox, Fisher-Jones has been able to leave her apartment and go out in public, even volunteer at the local office of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). She now works part-time as a barrista, serving drinks at a coffee bar.
"I have an unseen disability," said Fischer-Jones. "I am emotionally disabled, and I don't look it."
She explained that Sox has helped keep her out of institutions. Still, she is frustrated that she often has to explain that service animals are not just for blind people.
"Woman wins bias case over service dog" (Seattle Times)
"Woman Wins Judgment After Store Kicks Her Out For Having Guide Dog" (KOMO-TV)