Court Holds that a Person Asserting a Claim

Court Holds that a Person Asserting a Claim of Disability Discrimination Based on the Denial of a Service Dog May Assert a Claim Under the Disabled Persons Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act

Plaintiff and his son were allegedly denied service at a restaurant because plaintiff was disabled and was accompanied by a service dog. Plaintiff sued the restaurant for a violation of the Disabled Persons Act (“DPA”) and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The Complaint sought damages and injunctive relief. The restaurant owner demurred to the Unruh Act claims, contending that because the DPA contains express provisions addressing discrimination, plaintiff could only assert a discrimination claim under the DPA. The trial court agreed and sustained the demurrer. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the trial court erred in finding that plaintiff could not assert a claim under the Unruh Act. The court found that both Acts expressly incorporated the protections against discrimination based on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.