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McDonald's Discriminates Against Blind Customers, Lawsuit Alleges

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The plaintiff says the chain's late-night, drive-thru-only hours violate the Americans With Disabilities Act

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Another day, another lawsuit for McDonald's — and this one doesn't involve mozzarella sticks. A Louisiana man named Scott Magee is suing the fast food chain for failing to accommodate blind customers at the drive-thru during late-night hours.

The lawsuit claims "McDonald’s violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by prohibiting visually impaired pedestrians from ordering at drive-thru windows after restaurant lobbies are closed," CBS Chicago reports. The court complaint cites a specific instance in August 2015 when Magee, who is blind, attempted to order from a McDonald's drive-thru on foot after the restaurant's lobby had closed; Magee says he was refused service and the employees laughed at him. McDonald's company policy is not to serve any drive-thru customers on foot.

"While McDonald’s sighted customers can independently browse, select, and pay for products at Defendant’s drive-thrus without the assistance of others, blind people must hope for a companion with a car or paid taxi services to assist them in selecting and purchasing McDonald’s food," the suit claims. "This lack of accessibility to the blind is particularly offensive given the sophistication and size of McDonald’s Corporation as well as the advanced technological society in which we live today."

"Despite the fact that Defendant’s self-proclaimed vision is 'to become a modern, progressive burger company delivering a contemporary customer experience' the blind are totally unable to access any of Defendant’s products or services at late night, drive-thru restaurants," the suit says, citing all-day breakfast and customizable burgers as proof of the chain's "adaptability." It continues: "Curiously absent, however, from McDonald’s continued adaptation, is any concern whatsoever for the accessibility of their late night drive-thrus to the disabled."

The lawsuit, which was filed May 26 in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois (McDonald's headquarters is located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook), seeks class action status for any legally blind person "who have been and/or are being denied access to McDonald’s late night restaurant services in the United States."

Reached for comment, a McDonald's spokesperson says the company has not yet been served with the suit; regardless, it does not comment on pending litigation. Scope out the lawsuit, below:

Scott Magee vs. McDonald's

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