Lawsuit claims McDonald’s discriminates against visually impaired during late-night hours

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4 Fast Facts

  • Lawsuit claims McDonald’s drive-thru discriminates against visually impaired customers
  • A Louisiana man filed the lawsuit in May
  • Lawsuit claims fast-food chain doesn’t do enough to accommodate blind customers
  • Lawsuit seeks class action status

A lawsuit accuses McDonald’s of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by preventing visually impaired customers from ordering from the drive-thru during late-night hours.

According to Eater, a Louisiana man named Scott Magee filed the lawsuit and is seeking class action status. The lawsuit cites an August 2015 incident when Magee, who is blind, tried to get food from a McDonald’s in Metairie, La. He found the lobby doors were locked and realized he couldn’t go inside.

Magee then walked to the drive-thru and tried to order. He said workers refused to serve him, “laughed and told him to go away.”

The lawsuit said Magee has had similar experiences at McDonald’s drive-thrus before. McDonald’s policy prohibits walk-up business in the drive-thru.

Magee can’t drive. However, customers who can drive have access to drive-thru services, the lawsuit noted.

McDonald’s “thus provides accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges and services to customers that contain access barriers,” the lawsuit said. “These barriers deny full and equal access to Plaintiff, who would otherwise be able to fully and equally enjoy the benefits and services of McDonald’s restaurants.”

The lawsuit said customers who aren’t visually impaired can browse the menu board, order and pay without restrictions. Those who are visually impaired must “hope for a companion with a car or paid taxi services to assist them” in buying food late at night.

The lawsuit goes on to say:

Despite being accessible to the general public McDonald’s drive-thrus lack any meaningful accommodation for the blind. Because McDonald’s does not permit pedestrians to order from its drive-thru windows, the blind are totally precluded from accessing Defendant’s products during late night hours.

The lawsuit was filed May 26 in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois (the fast-food chain’s corporate headquarters is located in Oak Brook, Ill.)

A spokesperson for McDonald’s told Eater that the company hasn’t been served with the lawsuit. However, the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

You’ll find the lawsuit below:

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