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Blind person with guide dog was discriminated against when refused to board a bus, court rules

A passenger carrier that denied a blind person travelling with a guide dog access to its services has been court-ordered to issue an apology and pay PLN 5,000 for a charitable cause. Two advocates of Wolf Theiss P. Daszkowski sp. k., Mr Aleksander Woźnicki and Mr Rafał Karbowniczek, represent the HFHR’s client pro bono, as a courtesy to the HFHR.
Let us remind our readers: in 2014, our client was travelling from Lublin to Warsaw and wanted to use a long-distance shuttle service operated by a private carrier. A driver refused to let her embark, claiming that the company policy forbade animals on board.

“The judgment is a clear signal that violations of the statutory right of access to public facilities, including means of public transport, which is afforded to persons assisted by guide dogs, will not be accepted”, Dr Dorota Pudzianowska, HFHR’s legal expert, emphasises.

The Regional Court of Warszawa-Praga ruled that the carrier’s conduct had violated the personal interests of Justyna Kucińska.

“In the reasons given to the judgment, the court noted that the rights of our client had certainly been violated because she should be able to live her public life to the fullest, regardless of her disability”, Dr Pudzianowska said. “The court underscored that a person’s ability to travel with their guide dogs is a mean that mitigates the consequences of this person’s disability, founding the driver’s conduct blatantly discriminative”, she added.

The judgment is not yet final.

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