Suit alleges monkey discrimination
Woman contends she needs animal to stop her social anxiety disorder.
Tired of her monkey being sent scampering from area businesses, a Springfield woman filed suit last week against the health department, a local Wal-Mart and Cox Health Systems. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Debby Rose alleges the three entities discriminated against her and a 10-year old bonnet macaque named Richard.
All of the defendants, who Rose sued for unspecified damages, declined to comment on the litigation, noting they hadn't yet seen the suit.
Rose says Richard helps curb her debilitating social anxiety disorder -- which can cause her to have panic attacks in public.
Because of the animal's therapeutic effect, Rose says, he is no different than a seeing eye dog. When I ask, was the last time a seeing eye dog threw feces at anyone?????????
Her lawsuit contends the Springfield-Greene County Health Department had no authority to decide that Richard is not a service animal under the Americans With Disabilities Act and, therefore, is not allowed in food establishments.
That decision was made in 2006, when health department officials sent out letters to restaurants and grocery stores, telling them not to let Rose in with the monkey.