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01 March 2017

McDonalds discrimination lawsuit more than a drive-by, rules federal judge

A blind man is taking the fast food giant to court over its policy barring pedestrians from using 'drive-thru' service windows at McDonalds restaurants.

By Kathryn Higgins


Louisiana man Scott Magee has brought a discrimination lawsuit against McDonalds under the Americans with Disabilities Act. His case rests on the allegation that when McDonalds outlets close their interior walk-in restaurant but leave their ‘cars only’ drive-thru windows open for business – a common late-night practice at many McDonalds restaurants – the fast-food chain effectively cuts off service to disabled customers who are unable to drive while continuing to serve those who can.

First hurdle cleared

McDonalds initially sought to have the lawsuit thrown out. However, a Chicago federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Mr Magee’s claim against company should be allowed to proceed. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, has demanded that McDonalds find a way to continue serving non-driving customers at times when, for security reasons, the interior restaurant has been closed. One possible suggestion, floated by Roberto Luis Costales, the lawyer representing Mr Magee, is that better development of the McDonalds mobile ordering app could allow non-driving customers to order food from outside the restaurant and have it brought out to them by an employee.

Sources: Wall Street Journal; Chicago Tribune

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