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Date: 06-02-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Quality Inn Mystic-Groton

Case Number:

Judge: Not Available

Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: New Haven, CT - The United States of America sued Quality Inn Mystic-Groton on an Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) violation theory.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton in Stonington to resolve allegations that the hotel was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).

The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities who relies on a service animal and who was a guest of the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton. The complainant alleged that the hotel, which offers free breakfast to all of its guests, refused to permit him to enter the dining room with his service animal during breakfast service.

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Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including hotels, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that a public accommodation, such as a hotel, modify its policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The ADA requires hotels and other places of public accommodation to permit individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of the place of public accommodation where members of the public, customers, patrons or invitees are allowed to go.

The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints of disability discrimination and to undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the owners and operators of the Quality Inn have worked cooperatively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address the matters raised in the complaint without the need for litigation.

This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities or does not permit service animals may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.

Additional information about the ADA can be found at, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at

Outcome: The settlement agreement requires the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton to permit service animals in all areas of the hotel that members of the public and other hotel guests are allowed to go, including in its dining room during meal service. Additionally, the hotel will post signage indicating “Service Animals Welcome,” will implement a “Service Animal Policy,” and will train its managers and employees regarding the policy. Further, the hotel will compensate the complainant in the amount of $1,000.

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