Golden Corral restaurants may offer all-you-can eat buffets, but are they open to all?
The federal government sued a Westland, Mich. Golden Corral franchise Wednesday for allegedly kicking out a family after noticing a child that suffered from a genetic skin condition. The lawsuit charges that the restaurant's manager violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying service to Danielle Duford of Garden City, Mich. and her four daughters. Three of Duford's daughters suffer from epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that makes a person's skin extremely vulnerable to blistering.
According to the suit, manager David Robinson asked Duford what was wrong with one of her children, saying: “she has scabs all over, so obviously there is something wrong with her.” The document also noted that Robinson asserted the restaurant had “a right to ask what’s wrong if it concerns our customers and is contagious.”
The family was then asked to leave, despite repeated attempts by the mother to educate the restaurant management about the condition and the fact it was not contagious, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
The government is suing to prevent other incidents of discrimination and is seeking compensation for the family, as well as a $55,000 civil penalty.
"The promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act is that disabled citizens should have full access to public life. We hope that this lawsuit will assist in expanding people's understanding of the range of disabilities and the obligations to treat all disabled citizens fairly under the law," Barbara L. McQuade, the U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a release.