A disabled man in a wheelchair who uses a service dog says he was mocked and humiliated on two occasions when he tried to order food and eat inside a McDonald's restaurant in Minneapolis, according to a federal lawsuit.
Robert Mingo, 52, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and a chronic back ailment, alleges that he encountered hostility and poor treatment during two separate visits to the McDonald's in August 2012 and May 2013, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday.
He is suing the owner of the McDonald's franchise as well as the global corporation in federal court seeking unspecified damages and requirements that company employees be educated about the disabilities act.
The lawsuit concedes that Mingo was ultimately served on both visits, although on the second visit he was denied the right to eat in the designated dining area by a manager who said, "I am the law" — a remark that allegedly drew laughter from nearby customers.
Mingo's suit claims that in August 2012, he was told at the counter that his service dog, Max, prevented him from being served. He then wheeled up to the drive-through, where the same employee said: "We don't serve those things in the drive-through."
The man was eventually allowed to buy food but told that he was barred from returning, according to the suit.
Mingo alleges that in May 2013, he returned to the same McDonald's, where his order was taken "without any issues." But the manager then demanded documentation that Max is a service dog, and in response, Mingo said his wheelchair was sufficient documentation. He was again ordered to leave, the lawsuit said.
Representatives for the McDonald's franchise and the McDonald's corporation did not immediately return calls placed by NBC News.
The McDonald’s location’s owner, Tim Baylor, said in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he takes “complaints like this seriously (and) we do our best to provide a great customer experience to every customer.”
Baylor would not address Mingo’s specific allegations, according to the Tribune.
First published April 24 2014, 4:59 PM