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Deaf woman sues McDonald’s

July 16, 2008

Neb. woman with hearing disability sues McDonald’s

| Associated Press Writer

5:56 PM CDT, July 15, 2008

OMAHA, Neb. – A hearing-impaired woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a local McDonald’s, saying workers there refused to let her order food at the drive-thru window.

Karen Tumeh of Lincoln says they insisted she either order at the electronic speaker along the drive-thru lane or come inside to order.

Tumeh wears a hearing aid but still cannot hear while using the drive-thru ordering box at fast-food restaurants, according to the lawsuit.

At least three times since September 2007 workers at a Lincoln McDonald’s refused to let her place her order at the drive-thru window, Tumeh said. In denying her service, McDonald’s violated the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, she said.

Tumeh’s lawsuit seeks to force McDonald’s to make accommodations for hearing-impaired people to order food in restaurant drive-thrus. She also seeks unspecified damages and attorney’s fees.

McDonald’s corporate headquarters did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Tumeh is physically capable of walking inside to order, but that’s not the point, her attorney, Shirley Ann Mora James, said Tuesday.

“She has children who are autistic, and if they’re having difficulties, it would make it problematic for her,” Mora James said. “It’s not appropriate for a hearing-impaired person to be forced to go inside because of their disability, when … other drive-thru, fast-food restaurants have a policy to allow deaf and hard-of-hearing people to order at the drive-thru window.”

Other McDonald’s restaurants in Lincoln have accommodated Tumeh, Mora James said.

“We have attempted to resolve this on many occasions and have unfortunately been unable to resolve this,” Mora James said. “So we were forced into litigation.”


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Maximilian
    July 16, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    McDonald’s is bad for you anyways. Hearing and deaf people should go learn to cook something healthy instead.

    But wouldn’t it be interesting if fast food places had video screens with interpreters available at the drive-thrus?

  2. July 17, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Bet all of interpreters become hungry all day and night…great idea, Mazimilian! But I never see you cooking anything except the special tea! – Your buggy pal!

  3. Hershey
    July 17, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Most McDonalds have a sign on their drive thru machine that have text light displaying the customer’s order. The sign states those having difficulites are to pull up to the window to present their order. I believe the drive thru machines using text lights was the results of a prior lawsuit by a deaf person.

    I got to wonder why is it we always hear McDonalds that is getting sued? Why not any of the other fast food companies? Doesn’t McDonald teach their managers how to handle and resolve customer conflicts/concerns?

  4. ocdac
    July 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

    We had experimented with a keypad ordering system for deaf people at the McDonalds drive through at Costa Mesa, California. Very few deaf people used it. Too few for the company to be supporting it.

    If people want to sue, let them, but McDonalds did try accommodating them only the response was poor for them to be implementing it in all their drive throughs.


  5. July 17, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Deaf peoples do rights sue McDonald drive thur.
    Also, requires customer use asl and coda.

  6. July 20, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Fookembug Says:
    July 17, 2008 at 2:45 am
    Bet all of interpreters become hungry all day and night…great idea, Mazimilian! But I never see you cooking anything except the special tea! – Your buggy pal!

    Hey, Fookem, it’s better now than never, anyway about terps I don’t believe they’d hire them. It’d be much easier to punch the order items by driving through.

    In the past, they rejected me but I won’t move my car half inch until they took my order and police workers knew me every time they called ’em but @ the police station stated to let her have her order or else. LOL.

    Fookem, you’re no better than Maz the Tea Lover cz you’re damn chocalcoholist!


  7. Anonymous
    July 24, 2008 at 7:55 am

    sue them?! how can she be deaf when she would use the headset?! Tell her get over it!

  8. Anonymous
    July 24, 2008 at 7:56 am

    quit there while she’s at it!

  9. Abigail
    November 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    maxamillian, you are BEYOND ignorant. the point is that they are treated unequally and it is their right to be treated the same as a hearing “normal” person. that is their right given to them by the American’s with Disabilities Act. try learning something before you make ignorant comments.

    there is no way for them to order through drive through besides driving to the pay window and writing down their order. if there was a touch screen at the speaker to make orders this problem would be solved. the corporations don’t feel that the expense of making people equal isn’t worth their time or commitment.

    if you would like to be enlightened, go one day with your ears as plugged and sound proof as possible. on top of that, wear eye patches so that you are unable to see as well. after you have completed this task, go on and say no change is needed. i guarantee you would see the unequal treatment and feel that a major change is needed. handicapped members of our society had to fight for ramps for their chairs, now the deaf have to keep fighting for their rights..
    i was always taught not to judge until i have walked in their shoes. i have been living “deaf by association” for over 4 years now and still can’t believe how hard each and every day is for them compared to a hearing person’s day.

  10. Gregory
    April 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Anonymous :
    sue them?! how can she be deaf when she would use the headset?! Tell her get over it!

    if you are 70 years old and loss your hearing.. tell you what GET OVER IT! stupid

  11. Gregory
    April 22, 2012 at 11:29 am

    if they wont let me order this.. then I wouldnt moving my car out of drive thur…

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