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Feds Sue Personal Injury Law Firm, Say It Banned Disabled Client’s Service Dog From Its Offices

Posted Nov 8, 2011 4:24 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A federal prosecutor has sued an upstate New York personal injury law firm, contending that it banned a client from bringing her service dog into its offices.

A lawsuit filed in White Plains today by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York says Newburgh-based Larkin Axelrod Ingrassia & Tetenbaum and one of its partners violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by twice refusing to let a client enter its law offices with her German Shepherd service dog, Reuters reports.

The suit says Lauren Klejmont uses the animal to help her get up when she falls and assist her with tasks such as picking up dropped items, according to the Associated Press.

It alleges she was told she had a choice of leaving the dog at home or meeting with her lawyer in her car.

"The notion that a law firm and a partner in the firm would so flagrantly violate such a clear and well-established law, as was alleged in this case, is disturbing," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a written statement. "Of all people, lawyers should know better."

The firm declined to comment when contacted by the AP because it had not yet received the complaint in the case.

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