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April 30, 2004

Deaf man sues Wendy's

From: Attleboro Sun Chronicle, MA - Apr 30, 2004

MANSFIELD -- A deaf Mansfield man sued the Wendy's fast-food company Thursday after the Westboro franchise allegedly refused his written order at a drive-through window.

Howard Kaplan is suing the Ohio-based company for failing to accommodate his disability.

'' As demonstrated through the incident ... deaf or mute individuals cannot use Wendy's drive-through,'' the suit alleges.

Kaplan has had no difficulty being served at other fast-food restaurants, including McDonald's and Burger King, the suit alleges.

The incident took place last year when Kaplan and a deaf friend were trying to get something to eat after softball practice. He tried to write down his order for a hamburger and pink lemonade but allegedly could not be served.

The manager then allegedly threatened to call police after Kaplan passed his finger across his throat, which the suit says is sign language for '' You're fired.''

Wendy's lawyers were unavailable for comment.

Kaplan first brought his complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. In December, the commission dismissed the complaint for lack of probable cause.

© 2004 Attleboro Sun Chronicle