CRANSTON, R.I., Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Matthew McCarthy of Cranston has filed suit against multiple State authorities and local businesses entities claiming he was the subject of selective discrimination, physical abuse, and humiliation targeting his use of a service dog. Amongst the numerous claims listed in the lawsuit, Mr. McCarthy, who is legally blind in his left eye, alleges that on multiple occasions he was denied services by The Rhode Island Department of Public Transportation (RIPTA), claiming they refused to recognize his American Staffordshire Terrier as a service animal. The suit further contends that this discrimination by RIPTA lead to a series of interactions with local law enforcement who sided with RIPTA. According to the filings, on more than one occasion, Mr. McCarthy was physically abused by RIPTA employees once he began to successfully record the hostile encounters. Mr. McCarthy's suit also lists multiple Rhode Island businesses where similar discrimination has occurred, including a fast food franchise, gym, and pubic gathering facilities. His legal team argues that despite the clear guidelines expressly prohibiting disabled Americans from having to prove that their dog is certified or has "papers", as dictated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the laws of Rhode Island, Mr. McCarthy has been asked repeatedly for this documentation by RIPTA and local police. According to the attorneys representing Mr. McCarthy, Paige Munro-Delotto, of Munro-Delotto Law, LLC, and Amy Veri, "The ADA outlines that states, cities, and businesses open to the public are prohibited of requiring such proof. In addition, if a violation is found, awarding victims economic damages and mandatory attorney's fees. Rhode Island law further authorizes courts to award punitive damages and impose civil fines."
Mr. McCarthy has filed formal charges in Rhode Island Superior Court, with a number of his claims having already received "probable cause" findings by the Rhode Island Commission of Human Rights.
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SOURCE Munro-Delotto Law, LLC