Civil Rights

Deaf Woman Says McDonald's Denied Her Drive-Thru Service


A hearing-impaired Nebraska woman who can’t hear what is being said through a speaker has filed a discrimination suit against a McDonald’s in Lincoln, contending that the fast-food restaurant wouldn’t let her order at the drive-thru food delivery window.

At least three times within the past year, Karen Tumeh of Lincoln says, restaurant staff “insisted she either order at the electronic speaker along the drive-thru lane or come inside to order,” reports the Associated Press. This violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, she contends in the suit.

Although Tumeh is physically capable of walking inside, other fast-food restaurants including different McDonald’s outlets allow hard-of-hearing customers to order at the window, says attorney Shirley Ann Mora James, who is representing her. Additionally, because Tumeh has children who are autistic, it can be problematic for her to leave them while she goes inside to order.

Tumeh is seeking unspecified damages, injunctive relief and attorney fees.

In a written statement, McDonald’s says it “takes pride in making our restaurants accessible to all customers, including those with disabilities,” and that it “complies with all applicable laws, including the American Disabilities Act.”

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