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Public access

Cases involving public access situations.

Here are some examples of cases concerning service animals which have been tried in various courts in the U.S., all of which pertain to whether or not a business is permitted to ask a person with a dog what the dog is trained to do (ie "the task question").

Dilorenzo v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (2007)
Court found Costco employees were permitted to inquire what a dog was trained to do even though it was wearing a vest.

Grill v Costco (2004)
Court found Costco employees were permitted to inquire what a dog was trained to do when it was not marked in any way as a service dog, in order to determine whether it was a service dog.

“Jane Roe” v. Providence Health System, __ F. Supp. 2d __, 2009 WL 2882947 (D. Or., August 31, 2009).
Providence Health System filed an injunction barring a patient "Jane Roe" from bringing her service animal to their hospital on the grounds that it was an unreasonable accommodation. The US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled in favor of the hospital because 1. the dog was a fundamental alteration because it was very smelly requiring the movement of patients who could not tolerate the smell and extensive cleaning to remove the odor after the dog left the hospital, 2. the dog was a safety hazard because it blocked staff from reaching the room mate and the emergency exit options of the room mate, 3. the dog was a direct threat due to having dangerous infections itself. "In defining the word “reasonable” in the phrase “reasonable accommodation” the court ruled that the needs of other hospital patients, staff and visitors, on balance, outweighed this patient’s attachment to her animal." http://www.nursinglaw.com/oct09ter9.pdf

Storms v. Fred Meyer Stores, Inc.
Court found Fred Meyer Stores' employees discriminated against Storms by not permitting her to shop after they inquired about her dog's status (as a service dog) and what it was trained to do. Storms answered, and was still not permitted to shop.

Thompson v Dover Downs
Court found Dover Downs employees did not discriminate against Thompson when they inquired what his puppy was trained to do, even though the puppy was wearing a home-made cape.

Rose_v_Walmart_et_al.pdf53.19 KB
Baugher_v_City_of_Ellensburg.pdf36.06 KB
Grill_v_Costco.pdf31.5 KB
Thompson_v_DoverDowns.pdf48.67 KB