Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cusacks Said To Violate ADA By Failure to Accomodate Sick Child

My previous post revealed that at the opening midnight show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, the management of The Senator Theatre, at the direction of Kathleen Cusack, refused to provide space in one of The Senator's upstairs party rooms for a kid who has leukemia and a compromised immune system as a result. Instead, the sick patron had to sit in the packed auditorium, full of germs and viruses, if he wanted to go to the show, even though Cusack said nobody was using the party rooms that night.

I stated in my last update to that previous post that I suspected this was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That previous post has gotten quite long, with several updates, so I wanted to post a new one now that it seems I was right about that. I checked with Isabel Tifft, a retired RN who has extensive experience with disability law. This was her reply:

The text of the law states that, where reasonable accommodation can be made without excessive cost or burden, then the public facility (including restaurants and movie theatres) is required to provide that accommodation without additional cost to the person with the disability. In other words, they still have to pay to get in, but they shouldn't be charged extra for using the party room.

-Isabel Tifft, RN (ret./dis.)

Since Kathleen Cusack stated that nobody was using the party rooms that night, they were apparently obligated under federal law to accomodate the child's medical needs, and at no extra cost to the child's family.

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