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Press Release

Florence, Kentucky Business Settles ADA Complaint

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

COVINGTON, Ky. - The Wildwood Inn Tropical Dome and Theme Suites in Florence, Kentucky (“Wildwood Inn”) entered into an agreement with the United States to resolve a recent complaint alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) relating to the use of service animals.  The ADA generally requires that places of public accommodation permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.  The law also prohibits inquiries into the details of a person’s disability in connection with their use of a service animal and forbids demands for documentation relating to certification, training, or licensure of the service animal.

The complainant, a veteran of the Iraq War and recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and uses a service animal to assist with her disability.  The complainant alleged that Wildwood Inn’s staff requested to see either the certification paperwork for her service animal or medical paperwork from a doctor when she attempted to check into the hotel.  The complainant and her husband advised the staff members that the ADA does not allow such requests, but Wildwood Inn’s staff ultimately refused to provide the complainant with lodging at the hotel.

As part of the settlement, Wildwood Inn has agreed to adopt a Service Animal Policy, train its staff members on the ADA’s requirements for service animals, and post signage permitting service animals.

“Service animals offer invaluable support to individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “The ADA ensures that people who depend on service animals have the same opportunities for goods and services as the public at large.  This settlement furthers that purpose by improving awareness of the ADA’s requirements for service animals, particularly in those situations where a person does not have an obvious physical impairment.  We appreciate Wildwood Inn’s cooperation throughout the investigation and willingness to reach a prompt resolution that benefits individuals with disabilities.  We look forward to working together with them to implement the settlement agreement.”   

People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free Information Line at 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA homepage at www.ada.gov.

 

Updated July 25, 2019

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