June 1, 2016—McDonald’s has 16 days left to answer a lawsuit brought by Scott Magee, a blind man who says he and many other blind people are discriminated against during late-night hours when only the drive-thru is open and walk-ups aren’t permitted.
To be clear, McDonald’s serves blind people. But the world’s largest fast food chain by revenue will not serve anyone who walks up to a drive-thru order station or window.
Not good enough for Magee, who hails from Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. He claims in documents filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that in August 2015, McDonald’s employees in his hometown laughed at him and refused service during a late-night trip when only the drive-thru was open. Magee also claimed it had happened before.
“While McDonald’s sighted customers can independently browse, select, and pay for products at Defendant’s drive-thrus without the assistance of others, blind people must hope for a companion with a car or paid taxi services to assist them in selecting and purchasing McDonald’s food,” the lawsuit reads.
Magee is requesting a jury trial and for Senior US District Judge Joan B. Gottschall to recognize his lawsuit as a class-action, so all the blind people rejected at the drive-thru window can come out of the shadows.
“[G]iven the sophistication and size of McDonald’s Corporation as well as the advanced technological society in which we live today,” Magee argues, “modest accommodations” for the blind are not too much to ask. In court anyway, as it is not clear whether Magee has tried to lobby for any changes without using the force of the state.
Additionally, Magee seeks a “formal declaration that McDonald’s violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and unspecified court costs and attorneys’ fees,” according to NBC News.
McDonald’s corporate office is located in Oak Brook, Illinois.
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