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Unavailability of a toilet is a violation of personal dignity

Józef Głuchowski sued two branches of Warsaw banks alleging that his personal interests had been infringed upon as the establishments had denied him access to toilet facilities. As of the end of February, Mr Głuchowski and one of the banks settled the case. Last week, a Circuit Court decided the claim against the second bank holding that the establishment’s failure to give the claimant access to a toilet facility resulted in a violation of his personal dignity.

The Court ordered the defendant, Bank Pekao S.A., to apologise to the claimant in writing, pay him the compensation for non-pecuniary damage and make its toilets available to customers. In the oral justification of the judgement, the Court also found that the suggestion that Mr Głuchowski could have used a public toilet at the nearby metro station, contained in a letter from a bank’s employee to the claimant, was ‘inappropriate’.

In October 2009 Mr Głuchowski visited two banks located at Plac Bankowy, a busy business area in Warsaw city centre. During his visits at the establishments, he had to use a toilet. For that purpose he went to the room which, according to his knowledge, was a designated toilet facility. Yet the door was locked and the room marked as ‘utility area’.

At the beginning of the last year Mr Głuchowski decided to bring a legal action against the banks, seeking protection of his personal interests. He alleged that in failing to provide him, as a customer, with access to toilets the banks had infringed his personal interests.

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