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Southeast Michigan restaurant settles ADA suit

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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A suburban Detroit restaurant is paying a high price for refusing to serve a family of five. The federal government sued .alleging the restaurant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The incident occurred in 2011.

The manager of the Golden Corral in Westland asked a family of five to leave his restaurant after other diners complained about the appearance of the children’s skin. 

The family’s four children suffer from a genetic disorder (epidermolysis bullosa) that makes their skin blister.  

The restaurant’s manager insisted the family leave, even after the mother explained that the condition was not contagious.

As part of the settlement, the Golden Corral agreed to pay the Garden City, Michigan family fifty thousand dollars.

The restaurant also agreed to pay the federal government ten thousand dollars in civil penalties.

“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,” said Barbara McQuade, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.