A Michigan Golden Corral restaurant must pay $60,000 in fines after ejecting a family from the premises due to a child’s non-contagious skin condition back in 2011.
The Golden Corral lawsuit stems from a visit Danielle Duford and her four daughters made to the restaurant a few years back.
One of Duford’s girls is afflicted with a genetic condition called epidermolysis bullosa, which can manifest on the skin as blisters — mainly due to trauma or changes in temperature.
Despite Duford’s insistence that the girl’s condition was not transmissible and rather a genetic condition, she and her children were told to leave the Westland Golden Corral after fellow diners complained about the infant’s visible skin disorder. Three of Duford’s four children have epidermolysis bullosa.
The Golden Corral incident in Michigan prompted a US Justice Department lawsuit due to what appeared to be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA.
In the suit, US Attorney Barbara McQuade explained that a Golden Corral manager had demanded that Danielle Duford and her kids leave the restaurant during dinner due solely to the appearance of the baby’s skin and the discomfort of other diners.
In a settlement reached Wednesday between the Golden Corral restaurant and the US Justice Department, $50,000 was awarded to Duford and her family. An additional $10,000 in civil penalties will be paid by Golden Corral for the apparent ADA violation.
After the Golden Corral settlement was announced Wednesday, McQuade said the penalty may help prevent other Americans from similar discrimination:
“We hope that today’s settlement will help prevent discrimination based on unfounded fears by raising awareness of the duties to accommodate individuals with less common disabilities… No one should be excluded from participating in the basic activities of daily living on account of fears of their disability, nor should children be shamed from going out in public… We are confident today’s settlement sends that message.”
The manager of the Golden Corral named in the suit did not comment on the US Justice Department settlement.