Service Dog Tossed From Pre-Op Room, Woman Claims
Amanda Rutherford sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for alleged civil rights violations and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Rutherford, who has rheumatoid arthritis and permanent injuries to her back and hip, says she has a yellow Labrador that helps her pick up dropped items, keep her balance, and help her get up when she falls.
In early December 2014, Rutherford went with her mother to the hospital where her mom was scheduled for knee replacement surgery. She and her dog went into the pre-operative holding area, just as they had done for her mom’s six previous surgery appointments, according to the complaint.
The holding area is not sterile, Rutherford claims. It provides a place for patients and family members to meet with medical personnel involved in the surgery, get information, ask questions and give any information still needed before surgery.
Though the dog is up to date on its vaccinations, certified as a service dog, licensed in the
She claims no one gave her the chance to remove the dog so she could continue
waiting with her mom, or to do her mom’s pre-operative care somewhere else so
After the nurse escorted her into a common waiting area,
Nor would they let
She seeks an injunction ordering Kaiser to stop discriminating against people with service dogs and train its staff on how to treat such people. She also wants general, compensatory, and statutory damages, as well as litigation costs and fees.She is represented by Michelle Uzeta with the Center for Disability Access, a division of the Potter Handy law firm of