Justice Department Settles Disability Claims With Transportation Companies That Discriminated Against Riders With Service Animals
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan has reached a settlement with LogistiCare Solutions and Michigan Green Cabs to resolve allegations that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by denying rides to passengers with service animals, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. Service animals provide assistance and perform a wide range of daily tasks for individuals with disabilities, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other mental disabilities.
LogistiCare is a transportation management company that operates in 42 states and specializes in non-emergency medical transportation. Michigan Green Cabs is a taxi company that operates in the Royal Oak, Michigan, area.
These settlements resolve two investigations prompted by complaints that both companies failed to provide reasonable modifications to their policies prohibiting pets in vehicles. The investigation revealed that transportation providers under LogistiCare’s management in Michigan and Missouri unlawfully denied rides to individuals with disabilities who required service animals, such as those used to guide a person who is blind, to alert a person who is hard of hearing, to remind a person to take medication, or to perform a wide range of other daily tasks.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office determined that one of LogistiCare’s transportation providers in Michigan refused to transport an individual with a service animal because a LogistiCare customer service representative prepared a memo indicating that no animals were permitted in the cab. The investigation also revealed that a second complainant in Missouri was told by a LogistiCare employee that LogistiCare’s transportation providers would accommodate service animals for the blind, but not other service animals.
In its investigation of Michigan Green Cabs, the United States Attorney’s Office found that one of the cab company’s drivers failed to make a reasonable modification for a customer with a service animal seeking transportation from a hospital.
“The promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act is that individuals with disabilities should have full access to public life," McQuade said. "These protections are especially important when it comes to public services necessary to receive medical care, such as transportation. We hope that cases like this one will improve awareness of the duties businesses have under the law."
Under the settlement, both LogistiCare and Michigan Green Cabs have agreed to update their policies and training materials to ensure compliance under the ADA. In addition, LogistiCare must pay each complainant $750 and Michigan Green Cabs must pay the complainant $500.
For more information on the ADA and service animals, visit http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm. Those interested in finding out more about these settlements or the obligations of public accommodations under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov. ADA complaints may be filed by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling