Tired of her monkey being sent scampering from area businesses, a Springfield woman filed suit last week against the health department, a local Wal-Mart and Cox Health Systems.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, Debby Rose alleges the three entities discriminated against her and a 10-year old bonnet macaque named Richard.
Journalistic sloppiness. Richard is property, and therefore cannot face legal discrimination.
Rose says Richard helps curb her debilitating social anxiety disorder — which can cause her to have panic attacks in public.
Because of the animal's therapeutic effect, Rose says, he is no different than a seeing eye dog.
Her lawsuit contends the Springfield-Greene County Health Department had no authority to decide that Richard is not a service animal under the Americans With Disabilities Act and, therefore, is not allowed in food establishments.
That decision was made in 2006, when health department officials sent out letters to restaurants and grocery stores, telling them not to let Rose in with the monkey.
While I sympathize with Ms. Rose, if she really suffers from a crippling emotional disease and isn't just some selfish neurotic who wants to carry a monkey around wherever she goes (or could these be the same?), I also sympathize with the owners of restaurants, groceries, and medical facilities Ms. Rose wishes to patronize.
Because I'd walk out the door of such an establishment if it catered to monkeys, and I suspect that I'm not an atypical customer in that regard.
The filing further claims Rose "has been denied access to medical treatment and the ability to visit relatives who are seeking medical treatment," when the monkey is present.
While declining comment on the specifics of Rose's lawsuit, Cox issued a statement to the News-Leader about the matter.
"As a health care organization, we are governed by many health and safety guidelines including the Centers for Disease Control," it said. "According to these guidelines, a monkey poses significant health risks that other animals do not."
Monkeys throw their own shit, that's a filthy animal. I don't allow nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces into my hospital.
But do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?